• A Gnostic Agnostic
    57
    I am interested in understanding how others understand 'sin'. What is 'sin'? What criteria is used to designate an act, body etc. as 'sinful'? Is ones idea of 'sin' in accordance with a "belief" system (ie. a religion)? Or is it derived and/or arrived at internally? These are only some question one can consider.

    The first consideration I have is observing that emotions are obviously variable: they can be either positive (ie. good) or negative (ie. evil). That is: whereas there is love, there is also hate. It should be obvious therefor that a being can be dwelling in positive emotions, negative emotions or perhaps neutral (ie. no) emotions.

    I find sin to be simply: dwelling in negative emotions. I anticipate this might be different from certain orthodox "belief" systems. However, if this is sufficient for sin, it begs for need of knowing what the "negative" emotions are. Some common ones I find: enmity, anger, envy, resentment, hatred etc. and many more.

    I find people who are "in sin" are subject to (ie.suffering) their own negative emotions rather than subjecting their negative emotions to a higher faculty and attempting to understand them, such as reasoning/rationalization or perhaps better: the conscience. I find the conscience to be distinct from the emotions in that the former can act on the latter, but the latter can function without the former. If one draws a line from the base of the spine to the top of the head, I understand those who are dwelling in sin are caught in the middle of the line and have not utilized a higher faculty to resolve the negative emotions. I find part of this is understanding that the root of ones own suffering is internal, not external.

    This requires the realization that, in the end (and generally at all times), there is nobody else to blame but ones own self for ones internal state of being, is universally true when it comes to dwelling in sin and suffering in general. That is not to say suffering can not be caused by another, but any action (incl. evil) performed as a result of dwelling in sin (ie. negative emotions) is ones own fault and they "own" the consequences of that. In this way, one must take responsibility for ones own internal state of being at all times. This begs for a need to know/understand how the emotions are exploited (ie. fear, guilt) by others who use the emotions to control others. It is my observation that "belief"-based religious institutions (incl. their political wings) do just this: control people through their emotions.

    I find the problem of evil arises wherein a person (or body, such as a "belief"-based 'state') attempts to blame their own internal state of suffering on another person/body, and deceive "believers" into condemning/fighting/killing the adversary of that 'state'. This is blaming/scapegoating and what I find to be related to the original sin of Adam: attempting to blame the woman for his own fault. If this is true, one who blames others for their own faults must bear a mark I understand as the mark of Kain: attempting to blame someone else for what one is guilty of. If one knows what not to "believe" when it comes to accusations and who is guilty of what, and asks whether or not the person/body accusing is actually projecting and attempting to condemn their adversaries of what they are themselves guilty of, this is the mark that can be seen by those who do not do the same.

    If this could be designated as "Canaanite" (ie, religiously scapegoating ones own iniquities onto others) I find Judeo-Christian and Islamic theology to be Canaanite-inspired: in the former, the sins of sinners are scapegoated onto a man ("believed" to take away the sins of the world) and in the latter Muhammadan men religiously blame women for the iniquities of men themselves - the hijab being the Muhammadans' way of dealing with this problem of inability to control the sexual energy.

    Unfortunately I find 'idol worship' to exploit the emotions: psychological and indeed emotional attachments to male central figure idols which serve as models of living for all of humanity. That so-called human beings are capable to be driven to the point of having enmity that elaborates into desire to spill blood (in the case of even criticizing the man-idol idol worshipers take as infallible) it leaves the author of this in the understanding that people who spill blood over books and idols are among the greatest sinners on the face of the planet as would be expected as one who worships idols.

    The "great deception" is making people "believe" that what they are doing is somehow *not* idol worship: regarding a dead man as infallible and spilling blood over criticisms of him. In reality, this is exactly what idol worship is, and the spilling of blood reveals it. What do the idolatrous religious institutions do? They scapegoat and point the finger elsewhere: it's the Jews! it's the Christians! it's the Muslims! it's the Atheists! it's the "unbelievers"! it's the "infidels"!

    What is ones definition of "infidel"? Isn't this when a person has multiple concurrent partners he frequents? Surely Adam was not made an infidel man - he had one woman removed from him that was his bone of bone and flesh of flesh. How do we have "belief"-based religious institutions wherein men "believe" they are entitled to more than one woman? and this brings us into the problem of "belief" and how/why satan requires "belief" in order to confuse people into "believing" that evil (ie. infidel) is good and good is evil. "Believers" are the ones confusing good and evil to justify whatever suits themselves and find this to be the moral of Judeo-Christian-Islamic theology in general

    I apologize to those whose emotions are upset by these words, but I implore all to understand there are other faculties that should be yielded to that yet bear the following to be true: taking "offense" is not a virtue, and rather reveals that the one who is easily "offended" is themselves in sin and attempting to blame their internal state of being (ie. hatred) on another. Worshiping idols works on the emotions, and there is a reason the mythical Jesus could not be bound by satan: in knowing that satan requires "belief" one can know to become not "bound to believe" but knowing who/what/where/why/when/how *not* to "believe", which is a product of the conscience - the one thing "believers" religiously betray and deny.
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    Sin is fun's evil twin.
  • enqramot
    13
    Human thinking tends to be convoluted and lead nowhere in particular. I prefer computer thinking, like:
    "if(//condition to be met) sin=1; else sin=0;" and everything is clear.
    For example, there could be a program taking 2 parameters: criteria for something to be considered a sin, and then an item to be checked for sin-like qualities. It would return bool (1 - sin, 0 - no sin).
  • A Gnostic Agnostic
    57


    Human thinking tends to be convoluted and lead nowhere in particular. I prefer computer thinking, like:
    "if(//condition to be met) sin=1; else sin=0;" and everything is clear.
    For example, there could be a program taking 2 parameters: criteria for something to be considered a sin, and then an item to be checked for sin-like qualities. It would return bool (1 - sin, 0 - no sin).

    I'll have at it.

    if(//state=belief) possibility of "believing" evil is good (equiv.: satan is god) =1, else=0
    if(//state=knowing; non-belief) possibility of "believing" evil is good (equiv.: satan is god) =0, else=1

    If satan requires "belief" would not avoiding "belief" entirely be the preferred state to avoid being bound by satan?

    See I understand the word satan as "expression of being, bound in an ongoing state" wherein a bind, defect, vice, error etc. is recurring or repeating in an ongoing state and remains unresolved, causing internal pain and/or suffering. I find emotions to be what "feels" the pain/suffering, but also what feels the pleasure/ecstasy. What ultimately determines this? This problem relates to the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and those who eat from it ultimately are "sinners": they are polarized in some way that manifests through/as negative emotions which affects their behavior, thus "karma" (ie. doing, action).

    For example, "belief" in something that is not true is necessarily satanic if granting the above definition. A person is "bound to believe" and their behavior reflects a worldview that is not actually what the reality is. It seems to me one is necessarily bound to suffer this over time, in some form, hence also finding ignorance (ie. falsely held "belief") to be the root of suffering. This could be likened to a child learning that Santa Clause is not real after having "believed" there is a real mystical reward system in place, and later learns that it is actually a device used to control the behavior of children. If one imagines the gravity of, say, a billion people erroneously "believing" that a book and a man is the perfect man and final word of a god which instructs them to wage war against "unbelievers" would this not generate perpetual war against "unbelievers" who do not anyway "believe" something that is not true?

    Along these lines of thought I would define the following:

    "knowledge" is taken to be a conscious 'state' of an ongoing understanding of who/what/where/why/when/how *not* to "believe" based on, well, "knowns".

    "belief" is taken to be an unconscious 'state' of an ongoing "belief" in something based on, well, "beliefs".

    I went over to the logic part of the forums and was told:

    All knowing is belief, but not all belief is knowing.

    Which I am having a hard time understanding, because I don't understand how knowing a claim is not true is *not* a kind of knowledge that has nothing to do with "belief"... it is a rejection of an established "belief" on the basis of it not being true, thus "knowing" what not to "believe" based in a working knowledge that a "belief" is necessarily not true.

    This relates back to "belief" in that a person who "believes" something that is not true, is bound to "believe" and thus creates the satanic 'state'. If such a person understood the bind, they would not suffer it.

    This is how I find that understanding fear is superior to suffering it, and the conquering of fear is such that fear is never a factor in/of ones life.

    Understanding things seem superior to suffering them, and I find understanding to be the real basis of peace, rather than... belief in books and idols.
  • hachit
    203
    sin is defined as disobedience toward god, or gods.
  • A Gnostic Agnostic
    57


    sin is defined as disobedience toward god, or gods.

    Placing the actual existence of god aside, even if granting true, might the "disobedience" come by way as a product of dwelling in negative emotions? As in: one must first be dwelling in negative emotions in order to "sin", regardless of the god(s). Here I don't find it defensible that "sin" is ever a particular act in and of itself, but rather some acts can come from a place of sin since the person is themselves dwelling in it.

    I recall the story of Abram requiring him to "get out of the land of his kindred" as Ur was governed by the moon goddess Sin - I understand this as indicating the necessity for one to depart from their negative emotions before god can even do anything with them, else as with Sarai and Pharaoh she was passed off as his sister (I take to be emotions) rather than his wife (I take to be spirit) and when the house mixes with emotions it becomes plagued. Mistaking the emotions for spirit seems a problem many become plagued with (you see it everywhere), and such a confusion seems bound to lead to suffering. Emotions, while obviously felt and experienced, are not necessarily always rooted in reality and can be manufactured, as in the case of theater. People are obviously exploited through their emotions, which further leads me to suspect that guarding against being subject to ones own emotions is the closest thing I can find to "obedience" to any god.
  • enqramot
    13
    If satan requires "belief" would not avoiding "belief" entirely be the preferred state to avoid being bound by satan?A Gnostic Agnostic
    I think it's safe to disregard Satan. There is no proof that such a thing exists. The same applies to God.
    People are obviously exploited through their emotions, which further leads me to suspect that guarding against being subject to ones own emotions is the closest thing I can find to "obedience" to any god.A Gnostic Agnostic
    You don't need to guard yourself from your emotions. All you need to do is understand them and not let them take control over you. Emotions are like silly children - you need to show them who's the boss.
    Placing the actual existence of god aside, even if granting true, might the "disobedience" come by way as a product of dwelling in negative emotions? As in: one must first be dwelling in negative emotions in order to "sin", regardless of the god(s).A Gnostic Agnostic
    IMO best way to repel negative emotions is to analyze whether they are justified. If so, take action aimed at resolving the problems that gave rise to those negative emotions. If they are unjustified, just disregard them and focus on other things.
  • A Gnostic Agnostic
    57


    I think it's safe to disregard Satan. There is no proof that such a thing exists. The same applies to God.

    I think this is unsafe. I agree there is no proof that such a 'being' exists, because as you say there is no proof. The same applies to god. But suppose rather than satan being a 'being' that (does not) exist(s), satan is a 'state of being'. For example, if taking the meanings of the Hebrew letters as (I can explain how these meanings are derived if important enough):

    shin - expression (psychology/emotions/instinct)
    tet - bind
    nun (final) - ongoing state

    satan can be understood not as a thing or being that exists, but rather a state of being wherein the life of a "satanic" being is:

    an expression of being bound in an ongoing state

    wherein:
    'expression' is a resulting choice/action of ones psychology (thoughts), emotions (feelings) and instinct, and
    'bound' is any psychological/emotion/habitual attachment to a belief, idol, ritual etc. The 'ongoing state' denotes that it is unresolved (ie. a source/cause of conflict/suffering not understood by the being).

    In other words, if one "believes" something that is not true, the person is invariably bound to whatever effect(s) resulting from the false "belief", according to what it is and what its implications are. For example, if a person "believes" a book is the perfect word of god thus imbuing the text with the highest possible authority (ie. god's word), ones "expression" of being is modified/dictated by their "belief" which exists in an ongoing state. If such a person "believes" it is expected of them to wage war against others who do not "believe" the same thing as they do, this will invariably manufacture ongoing conflict.

    If this is true, any "belief"-based religion that makes a false "belief"-based claim is necessarily 'satanic' if taking the above understanding of satan as a 'state of being' rather than a "thing" or "being" to be meaningful. This is why I find the implications of proving:

    "Belief" is not a virtue.

    as necessarily true, of immense gravity. If so, one is never made virtuous by their "belief" regardless of what the "belief" is. I find knowing who/what/where/why/when and how *not* to "believe" is the same thing as conscience - being able to discern between what is right and/or wrong, and reminds me of the first day of creation.

    You don't need to guard yourself from your emotions. All you need to do is understand them and not let them take control over you. Emotions are like silly children - you need to show them who's the boss.

    Not guard against the emotions themselves, guard against falling into sin which subjects one to ones emotions. What you proposed is the way to do it - understand them instead of be controlled by them. The earlier part of the sentence is referencing the people who are exploited by them by others - intentionally working up hatred, outrage, "offended" etc. Obviously this works on psychologically/emotionally vulnerable people who are suffering something and looking for someone or something to blame.

    I find blame to be the original sin - in the end I have a feeling there is a universal axiom that holds nobody has anyone/anything to "blame" for anything, at all, ever, except for themselves. After all, if I were to design a free-for-all boundless existence wherein anything is possible, I would have established right from the get-go that any/all suffering is brought upon by ones own self, therefor understanding the self is the undoing of suffering and bondage.

    But hey, that's just me.

    IMO best way to repel negative emotions is to analyze whether they are justified. If so, take action aimed at resolving the problems that gave rise to those negative emotions. If they are unjustified, just disregard them and focus on other things.

    It's sound - the idol worshipers could take this advice and stop spilling blood like animals over criticisms of a book/man without trying to blame others. This pathology of blaming others (scapegoating) seems deeply seeded in the Abrahamic religions.
  • TheMadFool
    3.9k
    I am interested in understanding how others understand 'sin'. What is 'sin'?A Gnostic Agnostic

    all that is sin
    Consign to the bin
    when that's done
    there's no more fun

    I think the concept of sin, taking into account ALL knowledge, is just too broad to make sense at all. A simple reason is we're killing some living organism every single day of our lives. We kill germs on our hands with soap. We eat meat. Even vegetarians have to kill plants.

    The above paragraph puts sin in the context of the current body of knowledge. To deny my point one would have to limit the scope of sin e.g. by saying plants are not sentient blah blah. This would be like lying because even though you've deceived the listener you can't deceive yourself.
  • Wayfarer
    8.3k
    I am interested in understanding how others understand 'sin'. What is 'sin'? What criteria is used to designate an act, body etc. as 'sinful'? Is ones idea of 'sin' in accordance with a "belief" system (ie. a religion)? Or is it derived and/or arrived at internally? These are only some question one can consider.A Gnostic Agnostic

    Sin is ‘missing the mark’. In Buddhism (which I practice), there is no word for sin and Buddhists will often say that Buddhism has no equivalent concept, but it does have ‘kilesa’ (defilements) and ‘asava’ (hard to translate, but usually translated as ‘outflows’) which arguably map against the concept. In Augustinian Christianity, sin is inherited and closely associated with the act of procreation. It is understood in Calvinism as the ‘corruption of the will’, that one cannot even want what is right.

    In Buddhism, it is depicted more in terms of false understanding, avidya or ignorance. In this respect Buddhism (and Indian religions generally) are nearer to Gnosticism (where gnosis = ‘liberating knowledge.)

    All that said, sin, ignorance and suffering have deep roots.
  • Serving Zion
    53
    There is a difference between mistake and sin. People can make mistakes while being blameless, and so they are entitled to mercy (but I reflect true justice, not the idea of justice that the children of wrath promote - which is "punishment until I am satisfied that you have paid for my grievance").

    Sin is therefore, not simply "missing the mark", but "doing what you know you shouldn't do". But there is another complication to that definition, because sin is by definition, a thing that we choose to do instead of doing love. Love and sin are mutually exclusive, so that a person who is acting of love cannot be doing sin, and a person who is acting of sin is not doing love.

    When I came to learn of the Seven Deadly Sins, the Wikipedia page had stated "according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a mortal, or deadly sin, is believed to destroy the life of grace and charity within a person". It occurred to me, that a human in their natural state of being without sin (ie: made in the image of God), they have charity and grace. Sin is those things that draw us away from being charitable and being gracious. Greed, pride, lust, envy - whenever we are acting that way, we are not willing to give others what they deserve, whether it be kindness or help. Sloth, gluttony wrath. That's seven categorisations of harmful human behaviour. But they are only useful for analysing a person's sinfulness. It doesn't identify what is specifically giving sin a power over the person's life, and that could be drinking or unmarried sex, or pornography etc. Everyone who is not sanctified has a single crux - that one thing that is keeping them in bondage to the darkness, so that they can't truly express the truth of what is right.

    Such persons might be right about a lot of things, but whenever the topic moves toward their weakness, they become intellectually dishonest, evading the path of reasoning that would lead to a realisation and confession of their wrong. They are "walking in the darkness" as 1 John 1:6 puts it.

    So, a person who is innocent and not enslaved by sin (eg: a young child), they make mistakes and yet they aren't ashamed. The difference comes when they know that what they are about to do is wrong, and they do it, then they begin walking in the darkness to hide what they have done. It's the same with grown-ups and their relationship to God, and as Jesus speaks to us in a divine way, John 3:36 says that someone who is not doing what The Holy Spirit expects of them, then suffers the wrath of God (that is why they get all worked up when we speak His words, feeling condemned even though we aren't condemning them - Romans 8:1, Romans 8:34).
    For example, if taking the meanings of the Hebrew letters as (I can explain how these meanings are derived if important enough):

    shin - expression (psychology/emotions/instinct)
    tet - bind
    nun (final) - ongoing state
    A Gnostic Agnostic
    I'd like to know how you have found those meanings. I find a lot of value in the pictographs (according to this chart), and what I see in this, the one "consuming the lot of seed" - so the satan is a destroyer, the one bringing the end of all chance that life has to grow.

    What is ones definition of "infidel"?A Gnostic Agnostic
    I think of the word as deriving from "fidelity" - which is "replication true to the original". So an infidel is someone who has not replicated the original [faith] accurately. They have distorted the faith, they are corrupting the faith.
  • TheMadFool
    3.9k
    All that said, sin, ignorance and suffering have deep roots.Wayfarer

    Looks like a vicious cycle.
    ignorance -> suffering + sin
    <----------------------------<
  • enqramot
    13
    It occurred to me, that a human in their natural state of being without sin (ie: made in the image of God), they have charity and grace. — Serving Zion
    I fail to see how humans are possibly 'made in the image of God'. Where are the similarities?
  • Wayfarer
    8.3k
    Looks like a vicious cycle.
    ignorance -> suffering + sin.
    TheMadFool

    Yep. Looks like this:

    220px-Traditional_bhavachakra_wall_mural_of_Yama_holding_the_wheel_of_life%2C_Buddha_pointing_the_way_out.jpg

    or more prosaically

    551px-Paticca-Samuppada.JPG

    source
  • enqramot
    13
    But suppose rather than satan being a 'being' that (does not) exist(s), satan is a 'state of being'. — A Gnostic Agnostic
    I would rather consider such 'state of being' in psychiatric terms, without adding Satan to the mix. Holding unreasonable position and acting upon it doesn't have to have anything to do with religion. But religion often unites and galvanizes such abnormal individuals. Now, what is considered normal and abnormal is confusing because majority by definition cannot be considered abnormal. Which means that if the majority is insane, the sane minority will be labeled 'abnormal'. So in a society where the majority is insane, a person officially certified as insane could be perfactly sane. Everything is relative, as they say. So given the mass appeal of religion across societies one might be justified in his suspicion that insanity is nothing out of ordinary among people.
    This is why I find the implications of proving:

    "Belief" is not a virtue.

    as necessarily true, of immense gravity.
    — A Gnostic Agnostic
    Convincing people who "believe" rather than think to anything can be problematic. You may construct your proof only for it to be unreasonably rejected. What's your plan B?
  • enqramot
    13
    Do lunatics need any proofs? That is the question.
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    What manner of phenomenon is Sin?
    An independent entity, akin
    To noxious fumes, which God resolved to clear
    By proxy, through his Son in human skin?

    Or is it just a property, possessed
    By people who have willfully transgressed?
    If so, a scapegoat proves of no avail;
    The remedy lies in the sinner’s breast.
  • sime
    402
    Certainly there are similarities between the 'seven deadly sins' and symptoms of mental illness. Was the early christian concept of 'sin' more pragmatic than the modern christian concept?
  • Serving Zion
    53
    I fail to see how humans are possibly 'made in the image of God'.enqramot
    I'd like to understand that better, in case I might have wrongly assumed why. Could you please explain?
    Where are the similarities?enqramot
    I admit that I have extrapolated the image as a character rather than a role, and the godly character is not found so often except in children (because of the transpiration and infiltration of the corrupted (fallen) human thinking that displaces the godly nature, and the liberties to do iniquity that come with age). Yet, we can see that sometimes there comes a person who knows how to explain godliness in a way that makes sense, because they are absolutely right and able to say it, and if people would learn from them, they would become restored into the character that God intended. It is that restored character that I have said is the natural state of a human (IE: what a human is when they are not of a sinful spirit).

    So Jesus Christ is well accepted as the perfect example of that kind of teacher, and I think what He said in Luke 6:35-38 is quite relevant to this:

    “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of Elyon, for He is kind to the ungrateful and evil ones. Be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate to you.”

    Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing, will be given into your lap. For whatever measure you measure out will be measured back to you.”
  • PoeticUniverse
    622
    do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.Serving Zion

    Yes, for there can be no 'taking' in what is freely given with no conditions.
  • enqramot
    13
    I fail to see how humans are possibly 'made in the image of God'. — enqramot

    I'd like to understand that better, in case I might have wrongly assumed why. Could you please explain?
    Serving Zion

    It's hard to infer a consistent image of God from the Bible as God of New and Old Testament seem to differ quite a lot. What I see though as a major difference is God's infallibility. No matter what challenges at hand, he just has this inbuilt resilience that rules out any mistake on his part. Humans, on the other hand, are like poor quality end product, constantly suffering from failures. If God designed us to be like him, then it seems he failed miserably. And yet he's supposed to be perfect. It just doesn't add up. How could a perfect god create such obviously imperfect world unless on purpose, but what on earth could that purpose be and how could it be any good?? How has this idea of God being perfect even cropped up? Also people come with different abilities, let's call them talents. You can have singing talent, you can have beyond average ability to avoid paths in life which put you out of sync with the godly way of life prescribed by Jesus, which is also some kind of talent. Uneven distribution of such "talents" is unfair. So how can God be perfectly just? Rather than humans made in the image of God, I think it's Bible's God being a distorted image of humans resulting from limitations in imagination department that Bible's authors, being merely humans, suffered from.
  • hachit
    203
    I gave you the definition from the dictionary.
  • Serving Zion
    53
    It's hard to infer a consistent image of God from the Bible as God of New and Old Testament seem to differ quite a lot. What I see though as a major difference is God's infallibility. No matter what challenges at hand, he just has this inbuilt resilience that rules out any mistake on his part. Humans, on the other hand, are like poor quality end product, constantly suffering from failures. If God designed us to be like him, then it seems he failed miserably.enqramot
    So, what is the critical difference? It is wisdom, and what is essential to wisdom? Knowledge, understanding (discernment) and authority. Humans are finite, being mortal. We have a beginning point of zero knowledge, gaining our knowledge from those more established, and as we grow in knowledge, we take a role of disseminating that knowledge to the coming generations. So the human problem is a systemic corruption that distorts and displaces the innate human nature before we come to have sufficient independence and authority to direct our own will.

    On the other hand, God is the opposite, that as being the one who, in the beginning, said "let there be" (and so it was).
    And yet he's supposed to be perfect. It just doesn't add up. How could a perfect god create such obviously imperfect world unless on purpose, but what on earth could that purpose be and how could it be any good??enqramot
    You have to keep in mind that this world that we have is not exactly the world that God created or that God desires (consider Genesis 6:6 as compared to Genesis 1:31 and Romans 8:20-21, especially noting that God subjected creation to futility "not willingly" - God was not willing for creation to go that way. So He has chosen suffering, in hope).
    How has this idea of God being perfect even cropped up?enqramot
    I think it is an extension of the principle in Proverbs 21:30, and a natural outcome of a servile mind when forced by their insecurity, to claim authority by association. What I said does not negate the possibility of it's truth though, as even Hebrews 10:14 forces us to look carefully at what people say. "What is perfection?".
    Also people come with different abilities, let's call them talents. You can have singing talent, you can have beyond average ability to avoid paths in life which put you out of sync with the godly way of life prescribed by Jesus, which is also some kind of talent. Uneven distribution of such "talents" is unfair. So how can God be perfectly just?enqramot
    Only by employing circumstantial relativity in His judgement. We are not all God's workmanship, because there are many people who contribute to our growth in a way that is not conducive to God's intentions (Ephesians 2:2-3).

    If you find Christians who don't reflect the fair nature of justice, be mindful that they probably do not represent God in the proper spirit (eg: Luke 12:47-48, Matthew 7:21-23).
    Rather than humans made in the image of God, I think it's Bible's God being a distorted image of humans resulting from limitations in imagination department that Bible's authors, being merely humans, suffered from.enqramot
    I'm more inclined to blame the translators, as the authors of the bibles you read, because of the large misrepresentation of the scriptures coming through English translations. But in saying that, yes I agree that we (not to point at the bible writers but the characters in it) are constantly facing, and sometimes falling foul of, the tactics of the deceiver (Revelation 12:9a(ii), John 10:10), who is an imposter (1 John 4:3b-c)), who takes captives through judgement of their failures to love the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).
  • A Gnostic Agnostic
    57


    A beautiful response, thank you.



    Another beautiful response - thank you for sharing this.

    I'd like to know how you have found those meanings. I find a lot of value in the pictographs (according to this chart), and what I see in this, the one "consuming the lot of seed" - so the satan is a destroyer, the one bringing the end of all chance that life has to grow.

    I have a few books on the Hebrew letters themselves, one of which is 'The Hebrew Letters' and gnosticteachings.com provides a pretty good course on mystical kabbalah that evades much of the dogma. The work of Stan Tenen helped me out as well with the understanding of how the Hebrew final letters actually describe different parts of a torus field (final nun), and his work is breathtakingly beautiful, I recommend his book - it is like a gem, but his site has nearly all the content.

    I think of the word as deriving from "fidelity" - which is "replication true to the original". So an infidel is someone who has not replicated the original [faith] accurately. They have distorted the faith, they are corrupting the faith.

    I really appreciate this definition - "replication true to the original" because it lends itself to the notion that 'models' whose 'example' runs contrary to the Edenic state of one and one making one (1x1=1) is by its own nature 'infidel'. This involves religious "belief"-based models built on (justifying) polygamy.

    How is one to "return" to paradise (whence allegedly fallen), if one does not understand what paradise was/is? Is not a man and woman in a garden, given freedom to eat from any tree but one, enough for them? What has made them "believe" they are entitled to more than one woman? A warlord conqueror who "takes the kingdom of heaven by force"?

    This all lies in my argument: "belief" is not a virtue for it being the agency required to confuse good and evil. That is: the more one is willing to "believe", the more susceptible to 'satan' they are (ie. confusion of good and evil; bound in an ongoing state; suffering).



    Convincing people who "believe" rather than think to anything can be problematic. You may construct your proof only for it to be unreasonably rejected. What's your plan B?

    The observation and question are good - reminds me of Mark Twain:

    “When I, a thoughtful and unblessed Presbyterian, examine the Koran, I know that beyond any question every Mohammedan is insane, not in all things, but in religious matters. I cannot prove to him that he is insane, because you never can prove anything to a lunatic — for that is a part of his insanity and the evidence of it.”
    -Mark Twain

    I have never seen a challenge to Islam as a 'state' on the premise that "belief" is not a virtue and one is never made virtuous by their "belief". This actually reveals (via discovery perhaps) the root (ie. structure) of any/all supremacism/fascism - taken as a body or state empowered by ones own "belief" that it is superior to all others. This is probably due to others "believing" something else, say Christianity. I see them both as "belief"-based idol worship: taking a male central figure "mercy upon mankind" as an model (idol?) for themselves to imitate/emulate, so I'm not sure Plan A has had a full go yet. Perhaps if "believers" somehow understood that "belief" is the very agency required to confuse good and evil in the first place, they would question their "beliefs" and understand that whatever knowledge of good and evil is that makes one "like" god is in knowing good and evil. I find this to be knowing what not to "believe".
  • Fine Doubter
    62
    In the genuine version of New Testament teaching, in my opinion, the "holy spirit power for caring" economy of crown-gaining by trading the talents and gifts with one's peers, being connected to one version of "sin" that some people are invited to hold, the cheating our fellows is supposed to lie on our conscience (and everybody's has its unique sensitivity) then we can try and rectify our side of the street so that grace can continue to abound.

    I don't understand "sin" in other types of theology, sufficiently.

    A sacrifice to restore communion between mankind and "god" (who in the original Christian scheme represents the little ones) is a recurring motif. But regarding how this happens and what comes next or how we can benefit from this, everybody differs. (Churches know lamentably little about "holy spirit" and His purpose.)

    Gnostic Agnostic has observed accurately how the situation often got twisted by the powerful into a shaming, blaming, controlling mechanism against those to be considered inferior or the enemy and I think this is occurring uniformly despite differences in “correct” theology.
  • Fine Doubter
    62
    Gnostic Agnostic, life is going to get difficult sometimes and fear is like a warning light. Perhaps this is where "holy spirit power for caring" comes in and I don't know what other religions have to offer in its stead (or deficient versions of Christianity for that matter).

    The image of god is creativity, generosity, pleasure in "seeing that it (things in nature) is good" - which flow from our mode of dwelling in particular dimensions - an image so many people so often abandon.
  • A Gnostic Agnostic
    57


    Beautiful response.



    And again... your reference to fear here struck me here, I hope you do not mind it serving as a basis for what follows.

    Fear of god is the beginning of wisdom.

    This interests me as it is woven into the structural fabric of Abrahamism (ie. the religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam along with all derivatives therefrom) and discerning the validity of this has implications for the respective faiths.

    The notion that fear is the beginning of wisdom frightens me (pun). I have been meditating on this for the past few weeks, keeping in mind my adherence to the rejection of "belief" in and of being a virtue. When I am in meditation, I passively parse whatever I feel needs to be "resolved" (ie. something exists in conflict) and search for questions to ask about whatever 'it' is. In this case I found the question:

    Is it better to suffer fear, or to understand it?

    This begs the question:

    Is suffering fear necessary for understanding it?

    and the same could be asked of bondage: is it necessary to understand freedom? What is the opposite of fear? Would that be... courage? Suppose one is courageous due to an erroneous "belief" that, if suddenly known to be false, would immediately undermine such courage? It seem difficult to find a word that describes... absence of fear entirely, but perhaps a better question would be to ask:

    If one finds themselves in a state of fear, how does one overcome it?

    Here I find 'understanding' to be the basis of any/all such conflict resolution. I find in order to address any problem, one must *understand* exactly what the problem is: the who, what, where, why, when and how. The agency of doing this is how I understand 'conscience' - simply, ones own (in?)ability to inquire. I find therefor a measure for the conscience: the quality of the question it can address reflects the quality of the conscience addressing it. Thus better questions (questioner questioning) leads to better understanding, leads to wisdom, leads to better ability to properly discern between...

    ...well, the Hebrew words are "tov and ra" often translated good and evil respectively, but I find there are perhaps better: purity and impurity respectively. This is the most fundamental (ie. the mystery of the two trees) followed by discernment between light and darkness as called into being by Elohim (translated 'GOD'). Interestingly, the work of Stan Tenen reveals that Genesis 1:3 is actually describing a form which has mirrored symmetry as a fixed property when applied to the same torus field that he found Genesis 1:1 itself to describe (a contraption of a self-perpetuating torus field whose seed is in itself).

    Sadly, it's too difficult to discuss such ideas given people's immovable attachments to "belief"-based gods and subsequent need to: justify their worship of these gods (and therefor justifying) themselves and whatever actions their gods has sanctioned for themselves, and against others in the case of "believer" vs. "unbeliever" religions. This is why life bores and depresses me: people are unwilling to face the unreality of their "beliefs" and choose to spill blood, which is pure ignorance and stupidity. I find people who identify with their "beliefs" are bound to become offended once their "belief" is undermined - a property I find consistent with "believers" further rendering "belief" of having no intrinsic virtue in it, hence my arguments. I would take it further and say that "belief" and "idol worship" are actually the same psychopathy, but this would offend too many doing a thread about it rather than tucking it here in the middle of a response-turned-rant.

    The implications I find are thus (having not forgotten about fear which will follow):

    If one reverse-engineers the Edenic creation account to discern qualities/characteristics the Elohim must necessarily have, one may find these:

    i. Both male and female
    ii. Has image and likeness
    iii. Knowing of "tov and ra"

    and so any considerations I give to the "'GOD' of genesis" necessarily involves these; else seems hypocrisy should one be a so-called Abrahamist. It is for this reason I immediately reject that 'GOD' is a man. This alone is probably the reason for the dark ages as a whole: patriarchy and removal of the status of the woman as equally divine. I find the original sin to be the blaming of women, by men, for the iniquity of men. I find thus a gradual degradation of humanity that progresses by turning the scapegoating of the sins of humanity onto a single man (Christianity) that further degrades into installing a polygamous dictator warlord who took the kingdom of heaven by force (though not according to the "believers") as the greatest model for all of humanity, and his word is equivalent (ie. imparted by) god directly. I know not to "believe" these - not because I "believe" anything special of myself (I know I am, ultimately, nothing) or that others are stupid (though stupid people are a real thing), but because I questioned the claims of the Abrahamic religions to try to understand the global conflict - as in, I am so bored I looked at geopolitics and asked what they were lying/fighting about.

    And yet, I maintain, all of this is due to "BELIEF" and ones willing to "BELIEVE". The alternative is knowing who/what/where/why/when and how *not* to "believe", which includes matters relating to...

    ...FEAR, the prime component used by the institutionalized god-man-religions of the world. One must thus fear god in order to become wise. I return to the question:

    Is it better to suffer fear, or to understand it?

    If one uses the conscience (ie. who, what, where, why, when and how) and inquires about fear, they can use either their own fears, or understanding what others might be afraid of and why. Therefor, understanding fear *itself* rather than simply ones own fear has a bearing on knowledge of good and evil as it relates to questions such as:

    Who is using fear to exploit others? How and why?

    And these leads one closer to the root of evil: being able to recognize that so-called "fear of god", rather than being the beginning of wisdom, is surely the beginning of madness. Understanding who is afraid along with the "sum" of all of their fears (esp. if being protected by a single "belief"-based lie that, if/when exposed to the slaves of the house, they would fall to shock, turn on their own leaders and destroy its own house).

    That is not an irrational fear - that kind of fear is real, and I know better than to have fear in such a god (especially one which is made victorious with terror) knowing the real fear is the fear of the evil house using fear to control "believers" of the lie. If I fear anything, it is not knowing. Personally I hate not knowing and when a problem catches my attention, I won't leave it until I either solve it or at least understand it well enough to see there is a deeper problem which caused it.

    If the head of ones own house is a liar (ie. a "belief"-based lie, such as in a book and/or a man) the servants who serve this house, if even being themselves good and righteous, still they serve a lair and the lairs' lies. This is why I find "belief" is simply not a virtue - it doesn't matter if the person is of good nature, this good nature can be exploited indefinitely by liars who make such "believable" people "believe" their work is done for good, but in reality the head of the house is a liar and the work has served the liar and the lies, and those that worship them.

    This happens: otherwise beautiful people, who do things from the goodness that is in them, they "believe" their deeds go towards goodness. The sad reality is, while whichever house they attend appears to them decorated with virtue and righteousness, the head of the house is a liar, and lies to them. And yet, they believe.

    I therefor find the mystery of the two trees culminating into thus:

    either one is bound to know,
    or one is bound to believe

    and while some "beliefs" are pleasing to the sight, and appear good for indulging, there are certain "beliefs" that surely lead to nothing but perpetual suffering, pain and ultimately (real) death. And those are them who are bound to believe, and yet do not know the alternative: to become bound to know.

    I am bound to know the source of human suffering - but this says nothing for its solution, as this I do not know is even possible yet.
  • Fine Doubter
    62
    1. You can't demonstrate that everybody that believes in a religion is an idolater (that the head of their house is a liar) just because it is true for some of them. To get me to agree with the latter is easy. However it is not a sufficient condition to extend to significant exceptions. You could say "it is sad that so many . . ." which you can build an argument on, but you have not said this, so we are not able to reflect what might make somebody (of any religion or none) break out of that vicious circle.

    2. You need to be challenged about your category of so called "Abrahamic" and "Abrahamists" who have about as much in common as those in the phone book with surname beginning A, i.e the same as if their surnames were across several letters of the alphabet.

    Those calling themselves muslim for example don't have Abraham, they have Ibrahim, much of whose life story is different from the other man's.

    Then Hebrews use a very cut down version of the concept of Abraham of Christians (assuming you can find any Christians with ideas that overlap at all), but sometimes with other conflicting additions, of all different kinds of meanings and connotations.

    So, there is no such category of any meaningfulness.

    Furthermore, it isn't clear how your grouping of "A - brahamic / -sts" actually advances any of your arguments. Did you intend to confine your point to those diverse groupings only, and why - because people of all other belief systems (and none) are surely also of interest in the context of your thread title. You have not furnished reasons for the parameters of the information you present.

    3. I was aware that numerical values were built into the wording of old manuscripts that had to be copied, as a double check on accuracy. The material was mostly passed on orally but at an advanced stage in training, practitioners were inducted into the art of preserving the content in recorded form. For example, Eliezer has value 318 and that occurs near the figure 318. The same was done in early Sanskrit. General literacy among Hebrews dates from the exile.

    It might at a pinch be slightly interesting to know a little of how some people have got value out of lettering, in connection with the subject matter, but you have taken a very long time to introduce your two points. You could try harder to see which angle(s) we are interested in.
  • A Gnostic Agnostic
    57


    1. You can't demonstrate that everybody that believes in a religion is an idolater (that the head of their house is a liar) just because it is true for some of them. To get me to agree with the latter is easy. However it is not a sufficient condition to extend to significant exceptions. You could say "it is sad that so many . . ." which you can build an argument on, but you have not said this, so we are not able to reflect what might make somebody (of any religion or none) break out of that vicious circle.

    It really depends on ones definition/usage of 'idolator'. I probably understand this word (and practice) much differently than most, especially in it pertaining to "belief".

    I take 'idolator' in this context as one who adheres to a "belief"-based religion such that utilizes 'idol worship' as its modus operandi.

    I take 'idol worship' in this same context as utilizing a male central figure which serves as a living model for all of humanity. This would include Jesus and Muhammad. The "test" as to whether or not one is worshiping an idol is one question: are they willing to spill blood over it? If yes: idol worship is happening.

    The first step that must happen in the creation of an idol worshiper is to have them "believe" that what they are doing is somehow *not* idol worship. When a person becomes identified with his/her own "belief", whenever the "belief" is undermined, because they identify with/as it, they take it personally, which again, is idol worship. This is precisely what Christians and Muslims would "believe": their religion is not idolatrous. Spilling blood over criticisms of a dead man is idolatrous, and it is the "believers" who are in a vicious circle of worshiping books and idols.

    This begs a return to: "belief" is not so much a virtue as "knowing" who, what, where, why, when, how and/or if *not* to "believe".

    In either case, I find the testimonies required to join the idolatrous religions a necessarily false testimony contrary to the ten commandments, so it doesn't matter to me beyond that point. Testimony of a dead man can not possibly be necessarily true.

    2. You need to be challenged about your category of so called "Abrahamic" and "Abrahamists" who have about as much in common as those in the phone book with surname beginning A, i.e the same as if their surnames were across several letters of the alphabet.

    It is not about what they don't have in common, it is about what they do.

    Those calling themselves muslim for example don't have Abraham, they have Ibrahim, much of whose life story is different from the other man's.

    Which begs some questions: how did a Jewish man with a Jewish name evolve into an Arabic one? How are there two life stories attributed to this man? It should be obvious that if there was an Abraham (or Ibrahim), there could have only been one, so how is one to actually know?

    Then Hebrews use a very cut down version of the concept of Abraham of Christians (assuming you can find any Christians with ideas that overlap at all), but sometimes with other conflicting additions, of all different kinds of meanings and connotations.

    So, there is no such category of any meaningfulness.

    Again one must ignore all of the noise and focus on what (certainly must) apply to all by collapsing them into their root and evaluating from there.

    Furthermore, it isn't clear how your grouping of "A - brahamic / -sts" actually advances any of your arguments. Did you intend to confine your point to those diverse groupings only, and why - because people of all other belief systems (and none) are surely also of interest in the context of your thread title. You have not furnished reasons for the parameters of the information you present.

    The central crux of the argument is "belief" is not a virtue - that "belief" is the agency required to confuse good and evil and there is at least one "belief"-based religion actively persecuting "unbelievers" on the basis of "unbelief" in an assertion(s) that are certainly false. Hundreds of millions of people are dead due to this single false assertion that is "believed" to be true, but is certainly false.

    This is why one must understand gravity as it pertains to claims. What is the gravity of the claim,

    We are in possession of the perfect, inimitable, unaltered, inerrant and final word of god.

    especially if untrue? If one were the head of such a house, it would be known that such a house would fall should this central claim be proven to be certainly false.

    This is the "boat" Islam is in - the Qur'an is evolved from Syriac Christian strophic hymns and evolved over a very long time. Just recently we learned that the historical "Mecca" "believed" to be the birthplace of Islam is actually Petra in South Jordan, and that Mecca did not exist in the time of Muhammad.

    In other words, the Muslims are being deceived by their own leaders "believing" the deception that causes them suffering is coming from everywhere else. That is the problem with "belief" and why knowing what *not* to "believe" is necessarily superior.

    The problem is, this particular religion is also the root of fascism and socialism, but it hides it extremely well by having people "believe" the problem is coming elsewhere (ie. from their adversaries) such as Jews. The fundamental pathology of this religion is psychological projection: perpetually scapegoating the crimes of its own house onto whoever their adversary happens to be, and this is all made possible by "belief". This pathology of projection is, I find, is precisely what is the mark of Cain. Those who are in enmity will perpetually accuse others of what they are themselves guilty of, and herein can be seen the mark.

    It is a humanitarian crisis, but many do not see because they are distracted "believing" the problem is coming from somewhere else.

    3. I was aware that numerical values were built into the wording of old manuscripts that had to be copied, as a double check on accuracy. The material was mostly passed on orally but at an advanced stage in training, practitioners were inducted into the art of preserving the content in recorded form. For example, Eliezer has value 318 and that occurs near the figure 318. The same was done in early Sanskrit. General literacy among Hebrews dates from the exile.

    It might at a pinch be slightly interesting to know a little of how some people have got value out of lettering, in connection with the subject matter, but you have taken a very long time to introduce your two points. You could try harder to see which angle(s) we are interested in.

    One can actually derive the basic 'framework' of creation by taking Genesis 1:1 (2701) subtracting 666x3 (adam kadmon + man + woman) leaving 703 which leaves an expression that reads in English "as like the original Adam and Eve". That is, when 666 (sex as a lust, sex as a desire, sex on the mind) is removed entirely from the equation, one returns to a pre-fall state. I am currently doing up another thread that derives the original sin and entrance of evil into the world. I have a lot of graphics that deal with all of this I made when doing this research, but it is on another hard drive that I have been too lazy to drop in this pc, but should have them by the weekend.
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