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Thread: 2015 Religious Odyssey

  1. #1
    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
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    2015 Religious Odyssey

    Okay, I've had a few scotches, but I don't expect to renege come the morning. My idea to usher in 2015 is this... I will become an observer of one of the worlds major religions for a years duration. The choices come down to: Hindu, as inspired by the Bhagavad Gita, Orthodox Christianity/ Catholicism, or Buddhism. One stipulation, I won't wear any of the dress. This is more than anything an inward journey. Input is welcome-- Hell, participants are welcome-- but I don't expect to update often or ever once I leave my parent's house (and the internet) come next week. Fuck yea.

    Edit: I realized this may be better served in the private or blog section, or maybe who cares. But if a mod really want to move it, it don't matter to me.
    Last edited by Makers; 01-01-2015 at 09:28 AM.
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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Buddhism. It doesn't require you to believe in magical non-existent entities - at least not in some branches - just reincarnation which they are typically more sympathetic towards your struggling to believe.
    Last edited by ferrus; 01-01-2015 at 12:21 PM.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    Senior Member Linnea's Avatar
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    I would recommend Buddhism too. Hinduism, Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism have a lot more inherent misogyny. The world does not need more of it. By the way, writing Orthodox Christianity/Catholicism like that seems weird to me. It makes it seem like they are just different names for the same thing and that's not the case.

    Why just Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism? How about Calvinism or Pentecostalism?

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    Shit, I hope you update. This sounds interesting.

  5. #5
    libertine librarian sandwitch's Avatar
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    Why a major religion? That's like so mainstream. You could do something different, like RaŽlism.
    I wanna see your goodreads, so add me.

  6. #6
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linnea View Post
    By the way, writing Orthodox Christianity/Catholicism like that seems weird to me. It makes it seem like they are just different names for the same thing and that's not the case.
    I would argue they have more in common with each other than either has with Protestant Christianity. They're the twin wings of Roman Christianity and, from what I know, represent similar theological philosophies that revolve around similar traditions, albeit with different people, places, and so forth playing important roles in those traditions. Historically, Protestantism represented a somewhat radical philosophical break with the old Roman/Byzantine conception of what religion should consist of and what it meant to be a Christian.

    As a rough analogy, the Catholic/Protestant schism is pretty similar to the Sunni/Shia schism in philosophical terms. The Shia and the Catholics both essentially believe in a continuation of the biblical prophetic tradition up through the modern day, as embodied in specific institutions and people, whereas Protestants, like the Sunnis, conceptualize religious faith in terms of studying and understanding the messages left by the historical prophets who are named in the scriptures.

    The Orthodox church, from what I know of it (less than Catholicism or Protestantism), is a parallel version of the Catholic church--there's an Orthodox pope and so forth--with a different historical narrative justifying why its own priests are the legitimate heirs of Jesus' quasi-monarchic authority. This is more like the split within Shia Islam between "Twelvers" and "Seveners"--each school holds that a slightly different list of people (Imams) have been and/or are destined to be the heirs of Muhammad's prophetic authority--than that between either of them and the Sunnis, who hold that an Imam is pretty much anyone who has studied the scriptures enough to help other people understand them, which anyone can do if they want to. (Similar to the theological role of ministers in Protestant churches--one can be ordained, but this is basically a secular recognition of one's studies rather than a formal conferral of any kind of divine authority.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

  7. #7
    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mexico View Post
    The Orthodox church, from what I know of it (less than Catholicism or Protestantism), is a parallel version of the Catholic church--there's an Orthodox pope and so forth--with a different historical narrative justifying why its own priests are the legitimate heirs of Jesus' quasi-monarchic authority. This is more like the split within Shia Islam between "Twelvers" and "Seveners"--each school holds that a slightly different list of people (Imams) have been and/or are destined to be the heirs of Muhammad's prophetic authority--than that between either of them and the Sunnis, who hold that an Imam is pretty much anyone who has studied the scriptures enough to help other people understand them, which anyone can do if they want to. (Similar to the theological role of ministers in Protestant churches--one can be ordained, but this is basically a secular recognition of one's studies rather than a formal conferral of any kind of divine authority.)
    Some of my relatives converted to Greek Orthodoxy so I know a little about this. There is no 'Orthodox' pope - in fact one of the major causes of the schism between the two branches was that the Orthodox church refused to accept the bishop of Rome's (i.e. the Pope's) authority as overriding any other. There were originally 5 main patriachies including Rome, along with, if memory serves me correctly Alexandria, Antioch, Damascus and Constantinople (basically where early Christianity was concentrated in the Roman Empire's major population centres). The patriach of Constantinople, like the British prime minister in the British cabinets is considered primes inter pares - first among equals, so has a special authority and de facto leadership position but not a legal superiority. Each Orthodox church in a particular locality (country or ethnic group) which is based around a city is considered a separate church in the manner that one finds them discussed in, say, the Pauline epistles. The Catholic church deliberately suppressed the autonomy of the churches outside Rome, and this historical-legal-theological concern was actually one of the lynchpins upon which Henry VIII's pseudo-reformation in England hung upon.

    The other major split was, unsurprisingly for idiotic religious disputes, about the liturgical issues surrounding the so called filoque clause*. As I understand it, the Orthodox church has diverged quite significantly now in doctrine, not just in terms of liturgy but the emphasis on concepts such as kenosis, although I'll admit a lot of my knowledge of details of Orthodox theology comes from the rather eccentric interpretations of Dostoyevsky in his novels - though again note the accusation of Caesarism against the Pope. The hostility to Caesaropapist and the crushing of the Patriachs by several Tsar's, especially Peter the Great had a crucial impact on the political structure and development of Russian autocracy in imperial Russia where, unlike in Western Europe, monarchs never faced a coherent extra-monarchical organisation capable of undermining its legitimacy (it also had a weak aristocracy) and forcing it to negotiate constitutional limits.

    * This is whether the Nicene creed should read:

    And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son, (Catholic)


    or

    And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father, (Orthodox)

    Remembering that the Nicene creed was deliberately an attempt to define official heresy (particularly the Arrians at the time) - the dispute about the nature of the Trinity - whether or not they are co-equal or the 'father' bit has a special role - represented serious political ramifications and allowing each side to accuse each other of heresy.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

  8. #8
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    Buddhism, purely because there's some good shit there amongst the stupid. I say that from the perspective of intp/intj/high iq people in the west social ly being primed to feel various levels of anxiety/negative emotions totowardour society and how we wish the world to be, and the narrative that we're all little super heroes that are special and can achieve whatever we want if we just try hard enough and believe. Not to mention consumerism. Buddhism has nice antidotes to those perspectives.

    Catholicism I grew up with, and trying to "follow Hinduism" is like saying you're going to choose the one true ice cream flavour. India is called the land of the thousands religions for a reason, and the notion that there is a "Hinduism" I would go so far as to say is largely a western/ruling class projection. Of course, even if you go with Buddhism, now you've got the Theravada, Mahayana, vajrayana, Zen/chan, pure-landers, Tibetan question...

    I'd also question what you mean by "follow". What we call religion is often primarily a social phenomenon that requires outward signs and community integration. What does it mean to follow orthodox/catholicism Christianity separate from an actual church for instance? It's not alalindividualistic protestants you know? Similarly, I have no theological beliefs, but breathing, calmness, focus, introspective reflection on mind and body, and unattachment to things are all things I think that keep me alive/sane, and combat other toxic aspects of my personality/culture, but I dondonthink it's right to call me a Buddhist.

    Lastly, I saw your other thread on social revolution. Now I'm sure you'll find a way to twist things to fit your perspective...either the person or the belief bends/breaks, but how are going to reconcile the contradictions between your current beliefs and your new one's?

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    a cantori Perdix's Avatar
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    Before you devote a year of your life to a religion, I highly suggest reading this book: The Power of Myth.

  10. #10
    chaotic neutral shitpost jigglypuff's Avatar
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    my honest reaction: why the fuck would anybody do this

    ...but i guess if you're based somewhere where you can adopt a religion and be taken seriously without observing any of the culture & social obligations/traditions/congregation-type of stuff, "it's not so bad." that's a huge part of it, though.
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