• Olivier5
    2.9k
    if Jesus was with the Essenes in opposing the Sadducee leadership in the Temple, this is not an indication that Jesus was opposed to or advocated something contrary to Judaism.Fooloso4

    Correct. Of course he never thought of founding a new religion.

    He did change the world, in the end.
    — Olivier5

    I think that is an open question.
    Fooloso4

    Shut and closed, rather. That others such as Paul piggy-backed on him only shows how vibrantly the message was resonating.

    Some interpreted the Kingdom of Heaven or Kingdom of God as an internal transformation rather than the geo-political transformation envisioned in some messianic views.Fooloso4

    And this may be one of his deepest intuitions: the solution is perhaps not one big kaboom, with angels blowing celestial trumpets. Maybe it's already here, in every one's own longing for justice and love.
  • Olivier5
    2.9k
    do we have good reason to believe that Jesus was actually a living person and that the Gospels contain anything this Yeshua (if he lived) might have said or done?Tom Storm

    The same question could be asked of Socrates, who could be a figment of Plato's imagination... Either one trusts the source or one doesn't.
  • Tom Storm
    2k
    The same question could be asked of Socrates, who could be a figment of Plato's imagination... Either one trusts the source or one doesn't.Olivier5

    Not really relevant - what matters about Socrates is a method of doing philosophy. We lose nothing if he turns out to be 'made up'. With Jesus there's rather more at stake.
  • Olivier5
    2.9k
    We lose nothing if [Socrates] turns out to be 'made up'. With Jesus there's rather more at stake.Tom Storm

    Nothing is "turning out". In both cases there's a body of texts, and there's us. Either you trust (by and large) those sources or you don't. Either you are interested in those texts or you are not.
  • Wayfarer
    13.6k
    I have a kind of ‘religious anthropology’ model which might be relevant to this discussion. In this model, religious or spiritual insight (‘enlightenment’) is a real faculty, possessed by some but not by others.

    One model I’m aware of is R M Bucke’s 1901 ‘Cosmic Consciousness’. In it, he says that those designated prophets or sages (he includes both Jesus and Buddha, but with many other examples) have realised a state of being which is as far beyond the normal human state, as the human state is beyond the comprehension of animals. Essentially Bucke’s argument is that those possessing ‘cosmic consciousness’ are harbingers of humanity’s future evolution, as exemplars of the state that all humankind is evolving towards. It’s a dramatic kind of book, the original edition, which was re-produced in the edition I have, has a very specific layout, with Bucke’s translations of the various source materials along with his commentaries in small print interposed in the page margins.

    There’s plenty to criticize about Bucke’s work, also, in that he was plainly a very starry-eyed idealist - exemplified by his fervent conviction that air travel would soon be invented and introduce an era of universal peace. But overall, his idea that religious insight is an actual faculty or quality of insight possessed by people of genius rings true with me. He’s attempting a kind of synthesis of science and spirituality which typified many writings of that period. It also provides a kind of anthropological framework within which to understand the different faith traditions, without necessarily favouring one over the other.
  • Tom Storm
    2k
    Nothing is "turning out". In both cases there's a body of texts, and there's us. Either you trust (by and large) those sources or you don't. Either you are interested in those texts or you are not.Olivier5

    Of course, but I've already stated the important difference, either you are interested in that difference or you are not.
  • Olivier5
    2.9k
    Actually you haven't described this difference.
  • Tom Storm
    2k
    Actually you haven't described this difference.Olivier5

    Perhaps you haven't understood it.

    Here it is again -

    Not really relevant - what matters about Socrates is a method of doing philosophy. We lose nothing if he turns out to be 'made up'. With Jesus there's rather more at stake.Tom Storm
  • Olivier5
    2.9k
    With Jesus there's rather more at stake.Tom Storm

    Would you like to expand on this? What more is at stake with Jesus?
  • Wayfarer
    13.6k
    Should point out that most of the Socratic dialogues around the death of Socrates, are concerned with the state of Socrates’ soul in the after-life. That is one of the reasons why the early Greek-speaking Christian theologians designated Socrates (and Plato) as ‘Christians before Christ’. It was one of the means by which Greek philosophy became integrated with Christian theology.
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    One model I’m aware of is R M Bucke’s 1901 ‘Cosmic Consciousness’. In it, he says that those designated prophets or sages (he includes both Jesus and Buddha, but with many other examples) have realised a state of being which is as far beyond the normal human state, as the human state is beyond the comprehension of animalsWayfarer

    Does the Tathagata exist after death? Does he not exist after death? Does he both exist and not exist after death? Does he neither exist nor not exist after death?..." "If I thought so, I would say so...I don't say so...I don't say it is not." This is the fourth case. — Wikipedia

    Nagarjuna's Tetralemma

    Either something is or it is not.

    1. It is. No!
    2. It is not. No!
    3. It is and it is not. No!
    4. Neither it is nor it is not. No!

    What is it?
  • Wayfarer
    13.6k
    Interested in both topics but utterly failing to see the connection between them.
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    Christians before ChristWayfarer

    :up: Fact is stranger than fiction.

    Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't. — Mark Twain
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    Interested in both topics but utterly failing to see the connection between them.Wayfarer

    Incomprehensibilis.
  • Wayfarer
    13.6k
    seems a speciality of yours.
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    seems a speciality of yours.Wayfarer

    :rofl: I'm not the brightest bulb on the chandelier but, if you take notice, a lot of the action in philosophy centers on the resolution, only attempts at it, of paradoxes. It seems as though at the heart of any philosophical position there lies an antinomy that threatens to destroy it from the inside.

    Incomprehensibilis!
  • Wayfarer
    13.6k
    Anyway - as I barged into this discussion rather late, after very many interesting posts.

    Thanks to @Tzeentch for the Pierre Grimes video.

    I have a Christian, or maybe Post-Christian, background and a lifelong interest in Buddhism. The thing which drew me to Buddhism was the emphasis on learning by experience - namely that of sitting meditation. Together with a philosophy that is both deep and subtle. I think overall, Buddhism is more able to accomodate the discoveries of modern science but it's not a foregone conclusion. I'm learning to respect Christian Platonism which also has many depths and treasures. But I can't accept the historical narrative of Christianity, the belief in the second coming, and other fundamental elements of Christian dogma. That's where Buddhism has won out in my view, but I'm open to persuasion.

    incidentally got my eye on this book.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    That others such as Paul piggy-backed on him only shows how vibrantly the message was resonating.Olivier5

    We do not know what his message was in distinction from the messages that emerged in his name and was in some cases suppressed.

    And this may be one of his deepest intuitions: the solution is perhaps not one big kaboom, with angels blowing celestial trumpets. Maybe it's already here, in every one's own longing for justice and love.Olivier5

    The central theme of this belief is that we all contain a divine spark that can be discovered. It is at hand. But in either case, it supports my point. Where there are varying teachings said to be his we do not know the source.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    Some interpreted the Kingdom of Heaven or Kingdom of God as an internal transformation rather than the geo-political transformation envisioned in some messianic views.
    — Fooloso4

    This view was strenuously deleted by the early Christian Fathers as a species of heresy.
    Valentinus

    The work of your namesake being a prime victim.
  • Valentinus
    1.5k
    The work of your namesake being a prime victim.Fooloso4

    Yes, indeed.
    It is hard for a Gnostic Bishop to find work in this town.
  • Olivier5
    2.9k
    The central theme of this belief is that we all contain a divine spark that can be discovered. It is at hand.Fooloso4

    Or more prosaically, that human beings make their own heaven or hell here on earth, depending on how they treat each other. That cycles of violence need to be broken. You must know the Jewish story of the long spoons.

    We do not know what his message was in distinction from the messages that emerged in his name and was in some cases suppressed.Fooloso4

    Legend and the evangelists added a lot, but I doubt they voluntarily suppressed anything. The gnostic tradition 'pretends' or implies that the 4 canonical evangelists did hide -- or were not privy to -- all sort of escatological stuff... I don't know. The gnostics may have started with good intentions but lost themselves in considerations of overt polytheism, too far from the original (monotheist) Jesus IMO.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    You must know the Jewish story of the long spoons.Olivier5

    I had to look it up. A summary from Wiki:

    In each location, the inhabitants are given access to food, but the utensils are too unwieldy to serve oneself with. In hell, the people cannot cooperate, and consequently starve. In heaven, the diners feed one another across the table and are sated.

    Legend and the evangelists added a lot, but I doubt they voluntarily suppressed anything.Olivier5

    The Church Fathers, based on their own authority, decided what was canonical and what was heretical. Prior to this "inspiration", speculation, and stories grew unchecked by anything except personal conviction or the shared convictions of different groups.

    too far from the original (monotheist) Jesus IMO.Olivier5

    I think Jesus would have been appalled to learn that he had been deified, a man made into a god. But paganism has been a part of Christianity almost from the beginning, something inherited, embraced and fought against.
  • Olivier5
    2.9k
    A summary from Wiki:Fooloso4

    Awful.

    The story has it that one good Rabbi Shlomo from Riga was so righteous in the way of G.d that G.d decided to grant him a wish. He send an angel down here to deal with it. Since our good rabbi wished to see heaven and hell, the angel first carried him to hell.

    Surprisingly, hell was a luxurious garden. The rabbi arrived at a beautiful palace, in which he found people sitting on both sides of a long table loaded with all sorts of food. But the people looked all sad, angry and emaciated. That's because both their hands were tied to long wooden spoon with which it was totally impossible for them to eat.

    So Shlomo thought: "So this is hell: being constantly tempted but unable to satisfy oneself."

    But then he was brought to heaven. There was the same luxurious garden, the same beautiful castle, and in it, people sitting along a similar table, with the same long spoon on their hands. And they were all eating, and merry, because they were serving each other food across the table with their long spoons.

    So Shlomo asked to be sent back to hell so he could explain to those poor people the solution to their problem. When he reached there, and told one man at the table that he should try and feed the guy in front of him, and vice versa... the man replied: "I'd rather be hungry for eternity than feed this asshole!"
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k


    A better version!
  • baker
    2.5k
    There is the problem of sourgraping, presenting socioeconomic success as less relevant than it is.
    — baker

    There is, but there is a difference between presenting socioeconomic success as less relevant than it is and first hand experience that it is not all that there is. There is a point at which more is not better, despite how it may appear.
    Fooloso4

    Certainly. Some of the numbers I've seen is that a person needs to easily enough make 20,000 USD per year in order to be happy; a more recent number is 75,000 USD. The idea is that making more money than that doesn't increase a person's happiness, but that earning less than that can be detrimental to it.

    I agree that there is a point at which more is not better, despite how it may appear. But here's the crux: Are those who are not past that point (or nowhere near it) justified to value wisdom over socioeconomic success?

    We're talking here specifically about people who work for a living, not about populations like monks who live off of alms. Monks have chosen not to work for a living and they live in a very specific socioeconomic niche, so what "works for them" cannot and should not be uncritically transposed onto the working population.
  • baker
    2.5k
    Nagarjuna's TetralemmaTheMadFool

    We've been over this.
  • baker
    2.5k
    With Jesus there's rather more at stake.
    — Tom Storm

    Would you like to expand on this? What more is at stake with Jesus?
    Olivier5

    If Jesus was a real person, and has the power as stated in the Bible, then, if you don't accept him as your lord and savior, you will burn in hell for all eternity with no chance of salvation.
  • baker
    2.5k
    On principle, Dharmic religions (notably, Buddhism and Hinduism) are not expansive, evangelical religions, the notion of religious conversion is foreign to them
    — baker

    Yes, I wonder why that is. However, I've heard of buddhist kings like Ashoka dispatching missionaries to Sri Lanka.
    TheMadFool

    Indeed, there have been Buddhist missionaries. But on the whole, they seem to function as a defense of Buddhism against the expansion of other religions; or they focus on spreading Buddhism for lay people (and monasticism only as an adjacent or auxiliary option); ie. the aims for such missionary work are worldly. (And some Buddhist missionary organizations seem to be intent primarily on making money ...)

    As to your first question, the concepts of rebirth/reincarnation and karma play a central role in Dharmic religions. With them, among many other things, also the person's religious/spiritual status is explained, and their religious/spiritual prospects. With an outlook like that, there's not much that an outsider could see themselves do for another person.

    The other factor is that in Dharmic religions, there is no threat of eternal damnation, there is no urgency of "get it right this time around or suffer forever, no second chances", so there is no metaphysical impetus to get people to convert, unlike in Abrahamic religions.
  • Fooloso4
    2.6k
    Are those who are not past that point (or nowhere near it) justified to value wisdom over socioeconomic success?baker

    I am not sure what you are getting at. If someone is poor and values wisdom over socioeconomic success, depending on how this affects others, I am not sure I see a problem with what they value. I see these as two different things though. The former is roughly a matter of who you are and the latter what you have. Whether or not one interferes with the other depends on what one assumes the pursuit of wisdom is about.

    If you are saying we should not disregard the importance of socioeconomic needs out of some lofty notion of wisdom then I agree.
  • Olivier5
    2.9k
    If Jesus was a real person, and has the power as stated in the Bible, then, if you don't accept him as your lord and savior, you will burn in hell for all eternity with no chance of salvation.baker

    If Jesus was a real (normal) person, he was the son of a man and a woman, and the narrative was tampered to make him the Son of God.

    What you are saying is: If Jesus was a magical person as stated in the Bible, then all miscreants go to hell.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.