Have religious beliefs changed that much?

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Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by Dusak »

To see if you guessed correctly, the numbers in () at the end of each question appear at the end of the list.

We find it easy to dismiss the fantastical beliefs of people in other times and places, but those that we’ve been exposed to since childhood seem not so far out. Virgin birth? Water turning into wine? A fig tree shriveling on the spot? Dead people getting up out of their graves and walking around?

All of the following beliefs are found in respected religions today. They have been long taught by religions that either are considered part of the American mainstream or are home grown, made in the U.S.A., produced here and exported. Some of these beliefs are ensconced in sacred texts. Others are simply traditional. All, at one time or another, have had the sanction of the highest church authorities, and many still do.

How many of them can you match up with a familiar religious tradition? (The answers are at the bottom.)

1. The foreskin of [a holy one] may lie safeguarded in reliquaries made of gold and crystal and inlayed with gems--or it may have ascended into the heavens all by itself. (2)

2. A race of giants once roamed the earth, the result of women and demi-gods interbreeding. (1, 6). They lived at the same time as fire breathing dragons. (1)

3. Evil spirits can take control of pigs. (1)

4. A talking donkey scolded a prophet. (1, 3)

5. A righteous man can control his wife’s access to eternal paradise. (6)

6. Brown skin is a punishment for disobeying God. (6)

7. A prophet once traveled between two cities on a miniature flying horse with the face of a woman and the tail of a peacock. (4)

8. [The Holy One] forbids a cat or dog receiving a blood transfusion and forbids blood meal being used as garden fertilizer. (7)

9. Sacred underwear protects believers from spiritual contamination and, according to some adherents, from fire and speeding bullets (6)

10. When certain rites are performed beforehand, bread turns into human flesh after it is swallowed. (2)

11. Invisible supernatural beings reveal themselves in mundane objects like oozing paint or cooking food. (2)

12. In the end times, [the Holy One’s] chosen people will be gathered together in Jackson County, Missouri. (6)

13. Believers can drink poison or get bit by snakes without being harmed. (1)

14. Sprinkling water on a newborn, if done correctly, can keep the baby from eons of suffering should he or she die prematurely. (2)

15. Waving a chicken over your head can take away your sins. (3)

16. [A holy one] climbed a mountain and could see the whole earth from the mountain peak. (1, 2)

17. Putting a dirty milk glass and a plate from a roast beef sandwich in the same dishwasher can contaminate your soul. (3)

18. There will be an afterlife in which exactly 144,000 people get to live eternally in Paradise. (8)

19. Each human being contains many alien spirits that were trapped in volcanos by hydrogen bombs. (5)

20. [A supernatural being] cares tremendously what you do with your penis. 1,2,3,4,6,7,8.

Key: 1-Evangelical or “Bible Believing” Christianity, 2-Catholic Christianity, 3-Judaism, 4-Islam, 5-Scientology, 6-Mormonism 7-Christian Science 8-Jehovah’s Witness

Each of these beliefs is remarkable in its own way. But the composite goes beyond remarkable to revealing. What it reveals is an underlying belief that is something like this:

The process that produced this world and human life is best unveiled not by the scientific method but by the musings of iron age herdsmen (1,2,3,4,7,8) or science fiction writers (5), or con artists (6) whose theories are best judged by examining only assertions that cannot be falsified.

Underlying that belief is a sort of rational swiss cheese that is going to keep cognitive scientists investigating and arguing for decades.

We humans are astoundingly susceptible to handed down nonsense. Human children are dependent on their parents for a decade or even two, which is why nature made children credulous. When parents say, eat your peas, they’re good for you, kids may argue about the eat your peas part but they don’t usually question the factual assertion about nutrition. When parents sayNoah put all of the animals into the ark, it is the rare child who asks, Why didn’t the lion eat the guinea pigs?

Even as adults, we simply can’t afford to research everything we hear and read, and so, unless something isn’t working for us, we tend to accept what we are told by trusted authority figures. We go with the flow. Religion exploits this tendency by, among other things, establishing hierarchy and by ensuring that believers are in a certain mindset when they encounter religious ideas. A friend once gave me a button that said, Don’t pray in my school and I won’t think in your church. I didn’t really want to wear a button that said “I’m an arrogant jerk,” but the reality is that even the best of churches aren’t optimized for critical thinking. Quite the opposite. The pacing, the music, the lighting—all are designed for assent and emotion, for a right brain aesthetic experience, for the dominance of what Nobel prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has called System 1 thinking, meaning intuition and gut feel rather than rational, slow, linear analysis.

Some of our ancestors were doing the best they could to understand the world around them but had a very limited set of tools at their disposal. It would appear that others were simply making stuff up. Mormonism and Scientology appear to fall in the latter camp. But when it comes to religious credulity, the difference matters surprisingly little. For example, Mormonism is more easily debunked than most other religions, both because of its recency and because it makes so many historically or scientifically wild claims, and yet it is also one of the fastest growing religions in the world proportional to its membership. Wild claims matter less than whether a religion has certain viral characteristics.


Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.

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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by John Landon »

Life is all in the mind, as is disease, which are physical symptoms which manifest due to ones own mental dis-ease...
A Fascinating story surrounding Bruno Klopfer and Krebiozen, and a certain Mr Wright. Well worth looking into and exploring further.

Religion, its a mugs game, but it makes for a handy tool to reinforce "authority".

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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by newcastle »

John Landon wrote:Life is all in the mind, as is disease, which are physical symptoms which manifest due to ones own mental dis-ease...

Oh dear!....There goes decades of medical opinion :lol: So the tumour that was successfully removed from my liver was "all in the mind".? I wish I'd known that earlier :urm:


A Fascinating story surrounding Bruno Klopfer and Krebiozen, and a certain Mr Wright. Well worth looking into and exploring further.


Will do....later :wi


Religion, its a mugs game, but it makes for a handy tool to reinforce "authority".

It's always puzzled me, John, why, amidst all your other bizarre theories, you appear to have no time for religion and appear not to believe in a god or gods. Might they not be the rationale behind your "ancient advanced civilisation" that you bang on about from time to time?

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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by John Landon »

I have no time for what people demand I accept as truth, such as religion. I'll find God my own way, and indeed make the definition of what God really is.

All I can say about ancient advanced civilisations is that we have proof they existed cut into granite and moved hundreds of miles. We cant replicate what they did, well we can now , but on a much smaller scale.
I want answers, truthful answers...
Its laughable that the huge statue of Rameses 2 that they found in Cairo cant even be lifted out of the ground, so it has to stay there, and they build a museum around it,
instead of placing this statue outside the Cairo Museum which was the original plan for this statue when they first found it.
Even the "Shock and Awe" great power of the good old US of A admitted they could not move it with all their gigantic cranes and machinery.
But a bunch of "slaves" managed to carve it and transport it 3000 years ago. no tools, no vehicles....

Today when we demand proof of diorite stones and slaves etc, even if they could just demonstrate this to us, they pull out the old chestnut of "its not economically viable" to recreate the great Pyramid or attempt to demonstrate how to make a relief granite Stella or Obelisk.

WRONG ! it's lost knowledge, so why not admit it ?

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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by newcastle »

You're at it again John. Your assertions are simply not true.


Image

Moving large stones over land was more involved. Sledges and rollers (the latter being of a more limited value) were available in pharaonic times, and workers were in great supply. Friction was the main obstacle. An 800 ton block measuring 4x4x20 m would create a ground pressure of 1 kg over each square centimeter of its base. A force of at least 400 tons would be required to overcome the friction. Modern engineers working under primitive conditions found that, while moving blocks weighing 6 tons on a sledge, friction could be reduced to nearly zero by wetting the track with a lubricant (in this case, water). In the relief pictured above, from the tomb of Djehutihotep, a man can be seen on the leading end of the sledge pouring a liquid on the ground in front of it. Modern reenactments also demonstrated that a friction "seal" is formed beneath a static load that is broken when the load begins to move. An Assyrian relief (below) shows the use of a lever at the back of the sledge, possibly used to break such a "seal," or perhaps to propel it forward.

Image

It has been estimated that a ratio of two men per ton would be required for moving loads over flat surfaces; nine men per ton would be required for moving loads up a 9° slope. Practical experiments moving loads on a sledge over a lubricated track have shown that one man could pull one ton. Thus, the 1,000 ton colossus of Ramesses II could have been moved by 1,000 men (or 200 oxen).

The movement of large stones was not confined to Egypt in ancient times. The Romans moved the so-called Trilithon, weighing 800 tons, from the quarry to the Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek (in eastern Lebanon) in the first century AD. Another stone weighing 1,200 tons, the Hajar el Hibla ("Stone of the Pregnant Woman"), was never separated from its base and lays abandoned. Though the Romans left no record of their methods, it is obvious that the Egyptians did not have a monopoly on any "secret" technique of moving large stone.

It has been claimed by some that moving the largest of the Egyptian blocks would be beyond our modern-day technological capacity, even with the use of cranes and other heavy equipment. Such arguments are false. In 1999 it became necessary to move the 208-foot tall Cape Hatteras lighthouse to a location more than a half-mile away. The lighthouse weighs 4,830 tons and had to be moved in one piece in its upright position. How was this achieved?

Image


The use of cranes was impractical, and the actual technique used was very similar to that ascribed to the ancient Egyptians. First, the lighthouse was undercut and shored using timber . One hundred hydraulic jacks were installed on rollers to slide along steel track beams placed beneath the lighthouse. A road was made by compacting the natural sands, overlaid with crushed stone, and finished with steel mats. Five hydraulic push jacks slowly shoved the lighthouse along the track beams in five-foot increments. The track was lubricated with soap shavings to reduce friction. The move, from start to finish, took 23 days.

http://www.catchpenny.org/movebig.html

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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by Horus »

Why do so many cities in the world have obelisks and how did they get them there? How did they move and reconstruct the temple of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel? in itself a larger feat than the original construction, how did Belzoni move so many statues from their locations in Egypt and get them to the worlds museums? Sory JL but your claim that we could not move or construct such things today are entirely false. ;)
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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by John Landon »

They cut the temple of Abu Simbel up and managed to get it one degree out, and the Obelisks went walkabout in a much more modern time.
Yes, we could easily take the rest of them now if we wanted to..
As I said before, there is still that one Statue in Cairo they still cannot move or even lift.. correct ?

Still does not explain how or indeed how or why all these things were built, especially the GP or indeed any of the 3 Pyramids in Giza.
I do find it odd that the Greeks named them Pyramids, and we find evidence of great heat in the "Kings Chamber", and pyra means fire and mid means middle, so clearly the Ancient Greeks knew the purpose
of the GP, as the clue lies in the name, OBVIOUSLY they didnt want people to know about the purpose, or indeed if they could have understood its purpose.
So, the Greeks, the inventors of modern day politics, and we all know what sort of people are in politics dont we ?

However, I do like the reference to Hydraulic jacks, which I am sure the Ancients had, but then that raises ( scuse the pun ) more questions.
After all, If it took several thousand years for us to reinvent concrete and Ram pumps, what was holding us up all that time ?

How much more can we discover about how the Ancients were capable of such fete's of wonder ?
Maybe allow engineers to examine the engineering marvels that still exist, rather than have Archaeologists tell us about Priests and religious ceremonies.


Here is the bottom line, to save arsing about with semantics and doing what humans do best, Argue instead of being constructive...

I still say we are 3000 years behind where we should be technologically speaking, after all, if I concede and say we can do everything the ancients did, then after 3000 years, we have not got very far, have we ?

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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by newcastle »

As I said before, there is still that one Statue in Cairo they still cannot move or even lift.. correct ?
Nope.

That statue you are rambling about could be moved...if anyone wanted to move it. Its twin was moved to central Cairo years ago...and has now been moved again to Giza.

The rest of your post is such arrant nonsense it doesn't deserve a response.
Argue instead of being constructive...
...that's your motto I assume?

If you can't see the technological advances we've made in the last 100 years, let alone the last 3000, then you must be blind :lol:

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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by Horus »

JL, why is it that when someone points out the errors of your theories you have to fall back on fanciful and mysterious explanations? As an engineer myself I will happily debate all of your theories with you, so shall we start with your 'ram pump' idea that you keep coming up with, in essence it is a basic principle that has little practical use other than as a small scale method of moving small amounts of water and there are many factors that govern its efficiency and ability to work that would take too long to explain here, but I will if you ask me. Everything requires some sort of energy input to work, you put it in and get less back out again when it performs a task, the only thing that contradicts this would be nuclear fusion. I am more interested in you actually telling us what these devices you describe actually did, what task did they perform and for what reason? Lets have no airy fairy explanations, so if I and others can give you practical answers to the questions you are asking, then by return you must be prepared to demonstrate how your ideas would work, none of this "with enlightenment you will understand" stuff, give us some verifiable answers that we can mull over and reply to, that is the way these things are done and that is how we engineers work, it has to be practical and feasible. I have no intention of opposing your theories just for the sake of it, but neither will I just accept something you say as a fact when it is unproven and unsupported, it is so easy to just claim “the ancients knew more than we do” and just throw it out as if it were a truth, I am quite happy to accept a new explanation for just about anything if some new evidence is provided, neither do I have any problem with an alternative theory providing it does not involve alien technology or lost science that would boggle the modern mind.
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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by Zooropa »

Rolls eyes!

I'm sure many people who have been seriously ill would find JL's bonkers ******** belief number 832,001 very offensive.

If I could be arsed I might be regarding my own serious life threatening kidney disease that I suffered from as a young child.

But as I said, I cant be arsed.

The reason why much of what was done in the past is not (not cannot) replicated is because it would cost manpower, time and money.

Whos going to fund the building of a pyramid to prove to you it was possible.

Jeez....

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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by Major Thom »

Surely religious beliefs are in the eye of the person. You either believe or don't believe. I have never interfered with religious beliefs only to the fact most wars and upheaval is caused by different religious sects.

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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by newcastle »

As a matter of fact, few, if any of the many wars of the 20th Century had anything to do with religion.

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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by Zooropa »

newcastle wrote:As a matter of fact, few, if any of the many wars of the 20th Century had anything to do with religion.
Well, plenty of the conflict we are having in this century are....

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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by Zooropa »

John Landon wrote:I still say we are 3000 years behind where we should be technologically speaking, after all, if I concede and say we can do everything the ancients did, then after 3000 years, we have not got very far, have we ?
That depends on how you measure improvement.

For example, I would imagine that it would have taken 3 or 4 days to reach Cairo from Luxor back then.

Now I can get to Australia and back in that time.

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Re: Have religious beliefs changed that much?

Post by newcastle »

Zooropa wrote:
John Landon wrote:I still say we are 3000 years behind where we should be technologically speaking, after all, if I concede and say we can do everything the ancients did, then after 3000 years, we have not got very far, have we ?
That depends on how you measure improvement.

For example, I would imagine that it would have taken 3 or 4 days to reach Cairo from Luxor back then.

Now I can get to Australia and back in that time.
But JL's ancients would have teleported themselves to Australia in the blink of an eye :lol:

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