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Old 12-26-2023, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Florida
5,493 posts, read 7,339,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuakerBaker View Post
“I never darken a church door because I hate hypocrisy almost as much as I love the character and teachings of Jesus Christ. Christianity is a beautiful faith. The only trouble is that there are so pitifully few Christians in the world.” -Eugene Debs


I have a small connection to Eugene Debs, because for some reason my father wanted me to be named after a man...Debs was known as a labor union leader that was arrested for organizing the Pullman Railroad Strike of 1894, for protesting WWI, helping create the socialist Wobblies, and running for president 5 times, once garnering 6% of the votes and once running for president behind bars...

...however, Eugene Debs has some interesting thoughts on Jesus.

Eugene Debs was a "Christian Socialist" and even allowed inmates to compare him to Jesus when arrested as "Little Jesus." He worked with churches that pushed workers rights

Per Debs:

-Claimed that there are very few Christians in the world as most don't follow Jesus' teachings. Thought Christianity was too often corrupted and used to promote a false patriotism and to buttress the rich.

-Generally thought that organized religion is bad (with exceptions) as Churches have deliberately changed the real revolutionary nature of Jesus to support mammon, or unethical profits of the rich, which are in essence the very people who killed Jesus.

-Jesus is divine because he was supremely human specifically born into poverty. However, all humans have some divinity in them.

-Jesus is a revolutionary figure bigger than John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, or Karl Marx.

-Jesus was class conscious, preached love, preached charity, preached solidarity.

-Jesus devoted his life to helping the poor and chastising the rich.

-Jesus discouraged more modern notions of private property.

https://jacobin.com/2021/12/debs-jes...tion-socialism

https://www.religioussocialism.org/e...tian_socialism


Any thoughts on what you like or don't like about his interpretations, which it is fine to agree or disagree with?
One merely needs to read the beatitudes to see what I believe to be the fundamental message of Jesus.

It would seem that Debs was on to something.
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Old 12-27-2023, 03:05 AM
 
Location: NSW
3,802 posts, read 2,997,866 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakback View Post
One merely needs to read the beatitudes to see what I believe to be the fundamental message of Jesus.

It would seem that Debs was on to something.
Interesting descriptions and interpretations given from over a century ago.
The assertion that Jesus was some sort of class activist, or a hero for the working class, seems a bit over the top to me.
I’m not so sure that being a socialist or a SJW was his main purpose as suggested by these articles.
Yes I’m all for charities for the poor and disadvantaged, but Jesus was not some sort of socialist revolutionary.
The Pharisees may have been the hypocrites of his era, but there’s no equivalent today.
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Old 12-28-2023, 05:39 PM
 
63,809 posts, read 40,087,129 times
Reputation: 7871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
What about those who sit and wait with the empty cup inside of them and invite God in, but God does not come?
Can you fault them if they just eventually move on, accepting that God has not chosen them?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Why, indeed.
Things are the way they are because they got that way.
I was super interested in / open to god for 30 years. He isn't super interested in / open to me apparently. And once I gave up on hoping for his kind regard I was able to see that he was a chimera in the first place.
I am sympathetic to your positions, MQ and Mordant. Unlike those who may have told you it was somehow your fault, I realize it is NOT! If I had ever been looking for a "sign" from God when I was an atheist, I would not have been able to "see" one because God is not outside of our minds. (Ironically, that sort of makes the prevalent atheist accusation oddly true that God is all in your mind.) Absent my completely unexpected (and inexplicable) encounter, I would never have known God was within all along. To paraphrase and allegorize a popular song, we ALL are "looking for God in all the wrong places" (and expecting the wrong "signs" and interventions, IMO). Our primitive ancestors' imaginative and spiritually immature misrepresentations and beliefs about God have created unrealistic expectations.

Practically speaking, whatever our ancestors' were inspired to think, we are not "filthy rags" who deserve to be punished for eternity if we don't love, believe the right things, and kowtow to a wrathful and righteous God. That seems far too egotistical, flawed, and decidedly human to me. We certainly would not need to "endure this existence to its end" if God was at our beck and call by prayer to remedy anything in our physical circumstances as they seemed to believe. In today's world, the primary stumbling block to belief in God for those who reject Him seems to be the lack of attributable intervention in our physical existence, IMO.

As an atheist, I certainly would never have believed in God if I had not encountered Him in deep meditation. But having personally experienced the agape love that God IS, I am convinced our physical circumstances are NOT something that is the result of God's Will. I continue to reject the Omni-God of our ancestors' imagination and wishful thinking because I do not believe it is remotely accurate. Most of the angst of theodicy is eliminated by my rejection of "Omni-God" in favor of our "less Omni" Father (Abba) who Jesus showed us IS pure agape love. (The Omni's are also consistent with and reminiscent of our very common and very childish early expectations of our "less Omni" parents.)
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Old 12-28-2023, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
19,999 posts, read 13,480,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I am sympathetic to your positions, MQ and Mordant. Unlike those who may have told you it was somehow your fault, I realize it is NOT! If I had ever been looking for a "sign" from God when I was an atheist, I would not have been able to "see" one because God is not outside of our minds. (Ironically, that sort of makes the prevalent atheist accusation oddly true that God is all in your mind.) Absent my completely unexpected (and inexplicable) encounter, I would never have known God was within all along. To paraphrase and allegorize a popular song, we ALL are "looking for God in all the wrong places" (and expecting the wrong "signs" and interventions, IMO). Our primitive ancestors' imaginative and spiritually immature misrepresentations and beliefs about God have created unrealistic expectations.

Practically speaking, whatever our ancestors' were inspired to think, we are not "filthy rags" who deserve to be punished for eternity if we don't love, believe the right things, and kowtow to a wrathful and righteous God. That seems far too egotistical, flawed, and decidedly human to me. We certainly would not need to "endure this existence to its end" if God was at our beck and call by prayer to remedy anything in our physical circumstances as they seemed to believe. In today's world, the primary stumbling block to belief in God for those who reject Him seems to be the lack of attributable intervention in our physical existence, IMO.

As an atheist, I certainly would never have believed in God if I had not encountered Him in deep meditation. But having personally experienced the agape love that God IS, I am convinced our physical circumstances are NOT something that is the result of God's Will. I continue to reject the Omni-God of our ancestors' imagination and wishful thinking because I do not believe it is remotely accurate. Most of the angst of theodicy is eliminated by my rejection of "Omni-God" in favor of our "less Omni" Father (Abba) who Jesus showed us IS pure agape love. (The Omni's are also consistent with and reminiscent of our very common and very childish early expectations of our "less Omni" parents.)
Neither of us expects god's intervention ... just for different reasons I guess. I agree that once you reset your expectations to something more reasonable, one can live a rewarding life without counting on divine intervention of any kind. In fact the quality of life goes way up because disappointment and cognitive dissonance are eliminated. Buddhism is correct: clinging to particular expectations is the fount of suffering.
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Old 12-28-2023, 10:53 PM
 
63,809 posts, read 40,087,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Neither of us expects god's intervention ... just for different reasons I guess. I agree that once you reset your expectations to something more reasonable, one can live a rewarding life without counting on divine intervention of any kind. In fact the quality of life goes way up because disappointment and cognitive dissonance are eliminated. Buddhism is correct: clinging to particular expectations is the fount of suffering.
Having been a Buddhist atheist before my encounter, I still agree about the expectations for intervention in our material lives. But now I KNOW spiritual intervention is ever-present. Ever since the encounter, I can sense God's continual presence. (I call it quantum entanglement ). The difference is that before I was oblivious to God and now I know He is there.
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Old 12-29-2023, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
88,584 posts, read 84,795,337 times
Reputation: 115105
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I am sympathetic to your positions, MQ and Mordant. Unlike those who may have told you it was somehow your fault, I realize it is NOT! If I had ever been looking for a "sign" from God when I was an atheist, I would not have been able to "see" one because God is not outside of our minds. (Ironically, that sort of makes the prevalent atheist accusation oddly true that God is all in your mind.) Absent my completely unexpected (and inexplicable) encounter, I would never have known God was within all along. To paraphrase and allegorize a popular song, we ALL are "looking for God in all the wrong places" (and expecting the wrong "signs" and interventions, IMO). Our primitive ancestors' imaginative and spiritually immature misrepresentations and beliefs about God have created unrealistic expectations.

Practically speaking, whatever our ancestors' were inspired to think, we are not "filthy rags" who deserve to be punished for eternity if we don't love, believe the right things, and kowtow to a wrathful and righteous God. That seems far too egotistical, flawed, and decidedly human to me. We certainly would not need to "endure this existence to its end" if God was at our beck and call by prayer to remedy anything in our physical circumstances as they seemed to believe. In today's world, the primary stumbling block to belief in God for those who reject Him seems to be the lack of attributable intervention in our physical existence, IMO.

As an atheist, I certainly would never have believed in God if I had not encountered Him in deep meditation. But having personally experienced the agape love that God IS, I am convinced our physical circumstances are NOT something that is the result of God's Will. I continue to reject the Omni-God of our ancestors' imagination and wishful thinking because I do not believe it is remotely accurate. Most of the angst of theodicy is eliminated by my rejection of "Omni-God" in favor of our "less Omni" Father (Abba) who Jesus showed us IS pure agape love. (The Omni's are also consistent with and reminiscent of our very common and very childish early expectations of our "less Omni" parents.)
I was never an atheist. Tried to be at several points in my life because it seemed as if it would be such a relief to not have to believe in a silent, rejecting God, but I had a hard time not "praying to a God I don't believe in", to toss out another song lyric. I was quite the opposite, always believing, always wondering why others seemed to get something out of their faith that was denied to me.

But now I'm closer than I ever was. Time and age makes you understand the importance of jettisoning those things in your life that add no value. Now my thought is OK, if God is who God is supposed to be, God has the absolute right to do whatever, to give or to withhold, but I also have the absolute right not to like it and to stop trying to win God's love and favor and move forward accordingly.
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Old 12-29-2023, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
88,584 posts, read 84,795,337 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Neither of us expects god's intervention ... just for different reasons I guess. I agree that once you reset your expectations to something more reasonable, one can live a rewarding life without counting on divine intervention of any kind. In fact the quality of life goes way up because disappointment and cognitive dissonance are eliminated. Buddhism is correct: clinging to particular expectations is the fount of suffering.
Well said. I know little about Buddhism other than the idea of impermanence, which has served me well to keep in mind, but I do like that last sentence.
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Old 12-29-2023, 11:51 AM
 
18,976 posts, read 7,020,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Having been a Buddhist atheist before my encounter, I still agree about the expectations for intervention in our material lives. But now I KNOW spiritual intervention is ever-present. Ever since the encounter, I can sense God's continual presence. (I call it quantum entanglement ). The difference is that before I was oblivious to God and now I know He is there.
How do you know that what you encountered was of God? The bible tells us that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
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Old 02-07-2024, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Texas
170 posts, read 31,345 times
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I'm suspicious of someone incapable of seeing good in other people.
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Old 02-07-2024, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
19,999 posts, read 13,480,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaveOnn View Post
I'm suspicious of someone incapable of seeing good in other people.
I see good in other people, but generally don't trust it, because I also see bad in those same people. One has only so much time to get to know so many people to the level that you can truly count on their goodness to mostly overcome their badness.

If you're referring to Debs ... I'm given to understand he had friends and allies and he has admirers to this day, most famously perhaps, Bernie Sanders. He may not have seen the good so many apparently need to see in some of our cherished institutions and systems, but that's not the same as seeing no good in anyone ever.
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