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 Post subject: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:00 am 
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I'd like to begin with something that some people here may find amusing. It's actually the beginning of my train of thought that led me to write this message.

Quote:
The bigger problem is that “Summer Camp: Terror in the Forest” stole it’s plot device from the Bible. For me the clue was when Moses the Camp Counselor freed the terrified campers from slavery by causing a number of plagues to visit the rival camping group that ran the campground. When the oldest child of each RV/Caravan/Tent that wasn’t sprinkled with red Kool Aid was killed, I found the similarities pretty obvious. His sequel, “Sinai Vacation: Terror in the Desert” was even more transparent.


The above was a comment posted after the answer by ...
(Quora User) Alex Johnston
... to the question at the following link:

https://www.quora.com/Could-someone-ple ... ive-people

The link might not work for you, unless you are a member of Quora, but it's free to join. I'm not actually recommending that anybody join Quora. You will have to decide for yourself. I'm simply trying to provide some transparency here.

After reading the above, I wanted to verify the claims made in Alex Johnston's answer, so I started reading the answers in the profile of Chris Pritchards. After verifying that some ridiculous things shown in screenshots of what were allegedly answers by Chris Pritchards were in fact answers by Chris Pritchards, I noticed the following ...

Quote:
Why don’t Jews believe in Jesus?
Chris Pritchards

Answered Jul 26
Because the Rabbis, historically the next stage in development of the Pharisees, deliberately keep their congregations from hearing the prophecies regarding Jesus in the Old Testament. There are also close parallels between some of the practices of modern Judaism and Scientology.


Using the above as a source of ideas, I created the following dialogue that may be partly annoying and partly amusing, depending on your personality. There are two participants in the dialogue. One is named "Question" and the other is named "Answer."

The Dialogue:

Question: Why don’t Tibetan Buddhists accept that L. Ron Hubbard was one of the fourteen Dalai Lamas?

Answer: The people who teach Buddhism are deliberately preventing their followers from learning the truth.

Question: Why don’t you teach Buddhism, so that your followers will be able to become Buddhists who know the truth?

Answer: Buddhism is a false religion. The title “Dalai Lama” is meaningless. What is important is God, the Son of God, the Son of Man, and the Messiah.

Question: Why do you have an opinion about who deserves the title “Messiah” when the word “Messiah” is a concept from the religion known as “Judaism”?

Answer: You shouldn’t be saying anything about Judaism, unless you are qualified to teach Judaism. Now, if you are a teacher of Judaism, then you are deceiving people, just like the people who teach Buddhism.

Question: Most Christian Bibles include an Old Testament and a New Testament. Before the New Testament was written, the Old Testament already existed. As a Christian, don’t you know that there are references to a future “Messiah” in the Old Testament?

Answer: L. Ron Hubbard was one of the fourteen Dalai Lamas, and Jesus was the Messiah. You need to learn more about the Dalai Lamas and the Messiah. There are too many teachers who are deceiving people.

Question: if you are teaching people what a Messiah is, then aren’t you teaching Judaism? Also, didn’t you already say that the people who are teaching Judaism are deceiving people?

Answer: No, I’m not teaching Judaism. Judaism is a false religion, like Buddhism. Buddhists refuse to accept that L. Ron Hubbard was one of the fourteen Dalai Lamas. Jews refuse to accept that Jesus was the Messiah.


Now, after that long introduction, a serious question:


For a person who has no dog in the fight (the "innocent bystander" referred to in the title of the thread, who would stay out of debates about who belongs in the list of the fourteen Dalai Lamas) why get involved in debates about who is (or isn't, or was, or wasn't) the Messiah?


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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:18 am 
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If you were reading carefully, then you may have noticed that the dialogue participant named “Answer” makes conflicting claims, such as the following:
Quote:
Buddhism is a false religion. The title “Dalai Lama” is meaningless.


Versus
Quote:
L. Ron Hubbard was one of the fourteen Dalai Lamas, and Jesus was the Messiah. You need to learn more about the Dalai Lamas and the Messiah.


However, maybe there's an idea in that conflict that can be used to formulate a better question than the one I described as "serious" in the original post.

If Christianity is in a sense based on (but different from) Judaism, then we can imagine a religion based on (but different from) Christianity. Imagine a religion that includes a Messiah and also includes Dalai Lamas, with specific people in the Bible identified as being Dalai Lamas.

Could we compare such a religion, in a sense based on (but different from) Christianity, with a religion that simply dismisses the concept of a "Messiah", as many Christians might dismiss the concept of a "Dalai Lama"?

If people who weren't Christians were being taught the Bible with the hope of converting them to Christianity, then we can imagine at least two different reactions:

#1. They simply dismiss the concept of a "Messiah" as not worthy of consideration, or

#2. They add on the concept of a "Dalai Lama", and claim that Christians who don't accept and teach others that a given person was a Dalai Lama are hiding the truth.

In a sense, #1 resembles a possible Christian reaction to Buddhism:
Quote:
Buddhism is a false religion. The title “Dalai Lama” is meaningless.


In a sense, #2 resembles a possible Christian reaction to Judaism:
Quote:
Why don’t Jews believe in Jesus?

Chris Pritchards:
Because the Rabbis, historically the next stage in development of the Pharisees, deliberately keep their congregations from hearing the prophecies regarding Jesus in the Old Testament.


If in future, say after the year 2219, there is some very famous person and people ask, "Why don't Christians accept that he is the advocate or the comforter?" then a realistic answer would probably be available in terms of Christianity. It would be surprising if all Christians reached the same conclusion on a question that isn't answered by Christianity.

We finally reach a question:

If people who weren't Christians were being taught the Bible with the hope of converting them to Christianity, then which of the following two reactions would be considered more sinful from a Christian point of view:

#1. Simply dismissing the concept of a "Messiah" as not worthy of consideration, or

#2. Adding on the concept of a "Dalai Lama", and claiming that Christians who don't accept and teach others that a given person was a Dalai Lama are hiding the truth?


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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:34 am 
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Because the following is very simple, maybe it will be helpful to draw attention to it:

The word "Scientology" at the end of the following ...

Quote:
Why don’t Jews believe in Jesus?
Chris Pritchards

Answered Jul 26
Because the Rabbis, historically the next stage in development of the Pharisees, deliberately keep their congregations from hearing the prophecies regarding Jesus in the Old Testament. There are also close parallels between some of the practices of modern Judaism and Scientology.


... is where I got the idea of selecting L. Ron Hubbard (the creator of Scientology) as being an alleged Dalai Lama.

Thus, it should be obvious that the following ...
Quote:
L. Ron Hubbard was one of the fourteen Dalai Lamas, and Jesus was the Messiah. You need to learn more about the Dalai Lamas and the Messiah. There are too many teachers who are deceiving people.


... is a purely imaginary criticism of Christians, with neither any logic nor any genuine emotion backing it up. It's a random hypothetical that was designed to be absurd.

In contrast, looking again at the answer given by Chris Pritchards to the question "Why don’t Jews believe in Jesus?" ... we see three indications of hostility:

1. Rabbis are compared to Pharisees (who are quite explicitly criticized by Jesus in the gospels), and
2. Modern Judaism is compared to Scientology, and
3. Rabbis are accused of deliberately preventing their congregations from learning what is in the Old Testament, so they are accused of not merely hiding truths that Christians would teach, but also hiding information about Judaism itself.

Now, thinking in terms of the point of view of somebody who is neither Jewish nor Christian, what is the meaning and significance of the word "Messiah"?

Are we talking about the word "Messiah" in Christianity, where it is practically synonymous with "Christ Jesus", are we talking about the word "Messiah" in Judaism, or are we talking about some other meaning?

Finally, the question arises:

Do people who are neither Christians nor Jews have any more reason to accept Jesus as the Messiah than Christians have to accept that L. Ron Hubbard was one of the fourteen Dalai Lamas?


Last edited by PseuTonym on Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:41 am 
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To the last sentence, the answer is yes. I request you to keep your posts precise.

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"May our tongues proclaim Your truth. May Your Cross be a protection for us as we let our tongues be turned into new harps and sing hymns with fiery lips"

-From the introduction to Our Father, "On the feasts of the Lord and other important feasts", Syro Malabar rite


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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:51 am 
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Jack3 wrote:
To the last sentence, the answer is yes.

Could you please explain your train of thought before you reached your "yes" answer? Alternatively, could you provide a justification for a "yes" answer arrived at via unknown methods?

Quote:
I request you to keep your posts precise.

I'm trying to do that. It's probably easier to make them precise when they are simple. My initial impression was that something very simple might be boring or appear to be condescending, but after posting my third post in this thread, I think that it's both simpler than and better than my second post in this thread.


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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:00 pm 
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PseuTonym wrote:
I'd like to begin with something that some people here may find amusing. It's actually the beginning of my train of thought that led me to write this message...



...For a person who has no dog in the fight (the "innocent bystander" referred to in the title of the thread, who would stay out of debates about who belongs in the list of the fourteen Dalai Lamas) why get involved in debates about who is (or isn't, or was, or wasn't) the Messiah?

PseuTonym, why have you got involved in a debate about getting involved in debates about who is (or isn't, or was, or wasn't) the Messiah?


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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:03 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
PseuTonym, why have you got involved in a debate about getting involved in debates about who is (or isn't, or was, or wasn't) the Messiah?


I was reading an answer on Quora to the question ...

"Could someone please give me a reason to continue on Quora, considering I have had several bad experiences with highly aggressive people?"

So far, the answer by Alex Johnston, has 1,900 Upvotes and
10 Sharers.

One of the 10 Sharers is:

Quote:
Natalia Roszkowska, Linguist at Samsung (2018-present)
Updated 20h ago
I was having a bad day, but this was definitely a bright spot (especially the comment section) :D
Thanks Alex! :


It was a very entertaining and popular answer, and it got my attention. However, it occurred to me that maybe there's something less obvious, and more important that can be learned by simply reading very carefully one answer posted by the Quora user who asked the question.

Given beliefs and attitudes that are familiar and unchanging, we may fail to see something that is already problematic near the beginning of a message that describes the beliefs and manifests the attitudes.


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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:05 pm 
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PseuTonym wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
To the last sentence, the answer is yes.

Could you please explain your train of thought before you reached your "yes" answer? Alternatively, could you provide a justification for a "yes" answer arrived at via unknown methods?

People who are not Jews or Christians (or Muslims) would not know about the promise of the Messiah. They need to be told about that.

Your question is inextricably linked to "Why is Christianity true and Buddhism or Scientology false?".

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"May our tongues proclaim Your truth. May Your Cross be a protection for us as we let our tongues be turned into new harps and sing hymns with fiery lips"

-From the introduction to Our Father, "On the feasts of the Lord and other important feasts", Syro Malabar rite


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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:45 am 
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Jack3 wrote:
People who are not Jews or Christians (or Muslims) would not know about the promise of the Messiah. They need to be told about that.

Your question is inextricably linked to "Why is Christianity true and Buddhism or Scientology false?".

What if all people who belong to Protestant churches were to request that those churches become Catholic Churches, along with only one caveat: that the rebranded churches will teach that L. Ron Hubbard was one of the fourteen Dalai Lamas?

Would such a deal be unacceptable to the Catholic Church on the grounds that the premises of Christianity allow us to deduce -- beyond a reasonable doubt -- the conclusion that L. Ron Hubbard wasn't one of the fourteen Dalai Lamas?


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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:27 am 
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Jesus alone is the Saviour. Any deal that involves watering down the faith is unaccessible.

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"May our tongues proclaim Your truth. May Your Cross be a protection for us as we let our tongues be turned into new harps and sing hymns with fiery lips"

-From the introduction to Our Father, "On the feasts of the Lord and other important feasts", Syro Malabar rite


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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:11 pm 
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Jack3 wrote:
Jesus alone is the Saviour.

I understand, but I would like to respectfully point out that the question didn't refer to identifying anyone as Saviour, but instead referred to identifying somebody as a Dalai Lama.

Jack3 wrote:
Any deal that involves watering down the faith is unaccessible.

I didn't want to get into nitpicking, but I don't recognize that final word in your second sentence. I would recognize "inaccessible" as in our lack of ability to gain access to a deal, and I would recognize "unacceptable" as in the proposed deal being in conflict with the premises of the Catholic faith. Of course, those are merely two possibilities that occur to me now, and it's not my role to restrict your options, or put words into your mouth, so I will have to wait for clarification from you.

Consider the following claim:
Quote:
The words "Dalai Lama" -- when properly understood -- have the same meaning as the word "Saviour", and Tibetan Buddhists ought to revise their claims by listing Jesus as the one and only Dalai Lama.

Would you say that you agree with the claim, you disagree with the claim, or that it requires editing to make it more clear before you can either agree or disagree?


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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:16 pm 
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'Unaccessible' was a typo. I meant ' unacceptable'.

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"May our tongues proclaim Your truth. May Your Cross be a protection for us as we let our tongues be turned into new harps and sing hymns with fiery lips"

-From the introduction to Our Father, "On the feasts of the Lord and other important feasts", Syro Malabar rite


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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:39 pm 
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L Ron Hubbard was obviously not the Dalai Lama, and he never claimed to be, this is not a disputed question, all one has to do is find one of the innumerable lists of Dalai Lama online

such as this one

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalai_Lama


and see that the name L Ron Hubbard is not on the list. Taking an actual disputed question in religion, such as whether or not Jesus was the Messiah, and comparing it to a nonsensical counterfactual that no one has ever believed, such as whether or not L Ron Hubbard was a Dalai Lama, is an extremely bizarre form of argument that is certainly not logically valid.

I honestly have no idea what you think this kind of bizarre argument is supposed to prove.

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 Post subject: Re: The innocent bystander view of a heated religious debate
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:21 pm 
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Thank you, Doom! I thought I was the only one who had trouble with the utter gibberish presented in the thread.

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