"That pidgeons can navigate great distances is completely true that they are guided by an invisible flying <pixie> is untrue, but impossible to prove as untrue."
Oh Blicky, you are a one!
I think that you are really missing the point here. I apologise if what I have written doesn't make it clear what I have experienced
Modern druids (and heathens I think) do not go around associating supernatural causes for things that can be explained by good observation and science. After all the original druids were one of the ancestors of modern science .
What I have experienced, and I believe Jez and HS also, is genuine one-to-one contact with the spirits of the land and our ancestors, and one or more beings that we can only define as 'gods'.
It is easy for you to get carried away with the christian propaganda that has reduced the fey and other spirits to no more than cartoons. When you have actually conversed with them your perspective changes. From this experience I need no faith.
Now, having probably convinced you that I am completely bonkers, I shall quietly withdraw mumbling and drooling.
for the drooling bits.
I've actually never understood the need for faith myself.
Az: <Did you mean cows and grass and stones?>
Oh yes! 'Life' in the widest possible sense.
"Who cares, wins"
Well, okay then. Not sure about stones though. No, not stones. At least, not so far as I know.
<That pigeons can navigate great distances is completely true that they are guided by an invisible flying <pixie> is untrue, but impossible to prove as untrue.>
Silly me! I forgot to point out the glaringly obvious: if the pixie thing is "impossible to prove as untrue", then what justification do you have for saying that it "is untrue"? Are you not asking your readers to have faith , and accept what you say without proof?
<What for the most part separates science from "religion" is understanding and application.>
Oh? And how is that, then? The examples you gave seemed to me to be suspiciously well within the purview of science, but without the general sphere of applicability of religion.
Religion is tested. Those followers of (any) religion test it as they carry out their lives according to its tenets. Those who find their religion does not help them live in the real world abandon it. [OK, there are always some who carry on out of habit or apathy, but that's true of any perspective.]
<Science isn't about what we think, it is what we can understand. Religion on the other hand is all about what we think.>
Do you want to reconsider that? There are so many aspects to this that are, at the least, arguable, that I wonder if you really meant it as you wrote it?
"Who cares, wins"
|Subject: Some chair titles make more sense than others|
Posted Apr 16, 2004 by Chantel
This is a reply to this Posting.
Balshai spahseebah, moi druug! I feel honoured and double-honoured to be the 'please and the thankyou' chair! But I won't let it go to my head: For, as somebody said "Und, Wen du glaubst du hast das gluck . . ." (Sorry about the lack of umlauts . . . )
-en, nicht p**sen
maybe Im missing your point or maybe we are doing different dances around the same point.
I can accept as I *have* felt myself in tune with something real which I cannot give a name to that there are things science is not sophisticated enough to deal with yet.
Perhaps these are the same things you call wights, they could be different. What I am not prpared to do is submit my relationship with the weather the smells in the air and the shapes of the land to a system of worship. Not because it is too personal but because any codifying to me defeats the object.
I dance because I want to. I would never ask someone to dance the way I do (and I respect that you are not asking me to do things your way). I still dont think your mad, but I dont feel comforatable attributing my feelings, flickers in the corner of my eye, sounds that Im not sure Im "hearing" and sensations to a list of gods and spirits.
|Subject: What is a Christian?|
Posted Apr 16, 2004 by Mal
This is a reply to this Posting.
Perhaps Member's raised a valid point after all.
Faiths (and the one I'm going to pick on is Christianity, but only because I have most experience of that 'un) usually set themselves rules and regulations that are supposed to guide moral behaviour, like the Seven Commandments.
However, these guides must either go with or against human nature (because of a mixture of motives and influences - on the one hand, God's law must be shown as perfect and alien, but on the other, it must be reconcilable to everyday life). Things like the golden rules of do not kill and treat others as you would wish to be treated go with normal human nature, in most situations. However, things like "do not covet" go completely against the ambitious and curious nature of most of us domesticated primates; so why include them? How are the followers of these religions expected to adhere to rules that go fundamentally against themselves?
(On a related thought-train, some types of monastical faith see the guidelines as a challenge, and the body as weak. How is the reconciled with the logical idea that God's laws should be built into his creations?)
Okay, who disobeyed the thou shalt not steal commandment?
"maybe Im missing your point or maybe we are doing different dances around the same point."
Perhaps as the following statements indicate:
"I can accept as I *have* felt myself in tune with something real which I cannot give a name to that there are things science is not sophisticated enough to deal with yet."
Well maybe you might find it useful to explore that feeling further? Despite its in-built arrogance it is my belief that science has just begun to explore the universe, and these are exciting times for those of us that support it.
"Perhaps these are the same things you call wights, they could be different. What I am not prpared to do is submit my relationship with the weather the smells in the air and the shapes of the land to a system of worship."
Er.. point of information, the Heathens call them wights. We druids have a wide range of terms for similar things.
How many times do I have to repeat myself? I don't submit my relationship with the weather, the smells in the air and the shapes of the land to a system of worship.
For a start I don't go around indulging in worship. This is a term that denotes a master-servant relationship, and not one any druid would recognise. We work with these spirits and gods, we learn from them, we honour their gifts.
Secondly what I, and many others like me, experience is a direct relationship with sentient beings of great power and wisdom, not a smell in the air.
Does it make you uncomfortable to hear that I, someone who you seem to like (and the feeling is mutual) and perhaps have come to respect (again the feeling is mutual), is talking like a nutjob all of a sudden?
Well get used to it for it ain't changing anytime soon .
" I still dont think your mad, but I dont feel comforatable attributing my feelings, flickers in the corner of my eye, sounds that Im not sure Im "hearing" and sensations to a list of gods and spirits."
Please refer to my point above .
Aware that eveyone has just spotted the nutter on the bus, and he's been sitting amongst them for some time....
Would you please stop trying to convince us that you are nuts?
*we already know!*
I've got a camel in this box y'know.....gurgle
Please excuse my clumsy and forgetful use of terminology.
I don't submit my relationship with the weather, the smells in the air and the shapes of the land to a system of worship.
How many times do I have to repeat myself?
How many times? I dont know maybe you should put it in your paste buffer to save time
On a serious note, maybe I should slow down a bit, get off this computer more and tune into other stuff. Thing is I dont think the wisdom is "out-there". I think the smells in the air, changing of the light, movement of the moon etc...can rattle loose things inside us that are otherwise battened down. An internal loop that is affected by exterior influences.
You have a lot more experience, but I think that making a mistake is sometimes nescessary for learning the lesson, if and when I do that I might look you up for some directions.
Put that camel out right now, you naughty man!
I realize that I've missed most of this conversation (I live mostly offline these days), but in catching up, I'm reminded of an FFFF thread from about 3 years ago. ("gee, grandpa!" )
The problem of definition is an interesting one in many cases, but to define what is a "Christian" is particularly problematic, because many people mean different things by it, and it's a loaded word. When persons A and B both say "I am a Christian," and mean different things, they are often unwilling to step away from the issue and think of it as being of semantic interest, because they are very close to what they're saying, about their most deeply held religious convictions. It's much easier to say, "I really am a Christian, and the other guy's wrong," than to throw down with some linguistics.
A definition of "Christian" which was proposed by a member here a long time ago (ok, it was me), is the following - not a set of criteria which one must meet to be considered a Christian, but a list of definitions, each of which are in more or less common usage, and which sometimes overlap, sometimes not. The whole group of definitions, each with its usage, together with all the attendant contradictions and grey areas, can be thought of as a sort of meta-level definition, or as a big mess, depending on each reader's sensibilities.
1. A Christian is one who holds certain beliefs, regarding a God and His embodiment on earth as Christ, and what this means for each of us and our "salvation".
2. A Christian is someone who accepts the challenge of behaving in certain ways, including but not limited to, following commandments (the 10, the 7 or the 2), going to church on Sundays, partaking in certain sacraments, etc.
3. A Christian is someone who emulates and/or follows Christ as they understand Him, whether or not they self-identify as a Christian.
4. A Christian is someone who self-identifies as a Christian.
5. Something I haven't thought of.
Number 4 is there because, although it's not interesting in a spiritual sense, it's extremely common, and how the census takers, for example, decide how many Christians can be found in a given city or country. Number 5 is there because I'm not likely to ever think of *everything*.
Attempting to tie this back to the current discussion, one might ask how a type 2 Christian can call themself one when they regularly fail to follow or even attempt to follow certain of the rules. Hypocrisy is one possibility, but so are others, for example, one might believe that they *should* follow certain rules, but that they're "bad" or "weak" and will probably be punished for the state of sin which they believe themself to be in. Or, one might feel that there are contradictions in the rules, and that some supersede others in certain circumstances, which provide for judgement calls. This latter stance, wide open to charges of inconsistency, may very well be the one of a Christian who signs death warrants, orders bombings, etc.
To cut out a lot of the verbiage, it's not so much about following the rules, as it is about believing that those are, in fact, the rules.
The upshot of all of this for me, who have read too much philosophy, is that when someone asks me if I'm a Christian, I stammer something inarticulate and try to change the subject. Draw your own conclusions.
I'd choose numbers 1,2 and 4 as being where I fit in, GTB. As far as death penalty and war go, I am, and always have been, recent events notwithstanding, against both of them! (Recent events are, in my view, best left alone.)
<<To cut out a lot of the verbiage, it's not so much about following the rules, as it is about believing that those are, in fact, the rules.>>
Then why even bother believing in the rules? And if one truly did believe in certain rules, wouldn't they *need* to also follow them or else be a hypocrite? While I agree with your list of definitions (they are commonly used ones) I think there are many other definitions that people use, which makes it all very confusing.
It's like a pick 'n mix religion - many Christians seem to choose the stuff from the bible they like best to believe in. Which I guess is fine if that is what they want to do, but then why try to force those beliefs onto others (by way of law-making, social acceptance etc) ?
As a less loaded example try defining the word "game".
There are many such words; usually the intended sense can be derived from context, but for those that have a strong emotional commitment some of them may be perceived as having one *correct* meaning.
A given discourse is pretty much defined by the relation certain key words bear to each other (context); and discourses themselves overlap and crisscross in much the same way that usages of the word game do.
<<As a less loaded example try defining the word "game".>>
Well, okay, define the word 'happy'. If you can. But I don't actually see the connection with that and trying to define what a Christian is.
The thing is, when it comes to people who have personally chosen to follow a religion it is (or should be) much more than just how a word is defined. Why bother having a religion at all if you are not going to follow its teachings and live by its rules? What is the point of calling yourself a Christian if you go around doing very un-Christian like things?
Collins English dictionary:
1.a) a person who believes in and follows Jesus Christ b) a member of a Christian Church or denomination.
2. a person who possesses Christian virtues, esp. practical ones.
3. of relating to, or derived from Jesus Christ, his teachings, example or his followers
4. exhibiting kindness or goodness
How one defines 'game' or 'happy' is simply a personal definition. How one defines 'being a Christian' can in fact affect a lot of other people. Because Christianity is not just a word, it relates to a massive global organization. And people simply choose to fit into this organization as they see fit (as far as I can see). So defining oneself as Christian means you have a lot of global and socially accepted backup. No matter how you actually behave. Because you can always 'repent' and be forgiven.
It's a bit like never leaving home to become an independent adult responsible for your own actions. You still have the 'Father' who is there to judge you and then forgive your mistakes. A Father that has promised that if you are good, or at least if you come to Him to repent when you aren't good, that you will get a treat at the end of your life. The Father doesn't want you to grow up. He always refers to you as 'His children'. He wants you under His control. And He uses fear as His main weapon of control.
Frankly, I had a RL father like this. I don't need to have an imaginary one like this now that I *am* grown up and independent, and more importantly, responsible for my actions.
I do understand why people like to join groups, be they religious or social ones, whatever. But I do think they should remain personal things. However, once one joins a group there seems to be the inevitable comparision between one group and another, a bit of rivalry happens and then . . .
ho hum. same old story.
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