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  1. #1
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    Thou Shalt Not Steal

    This may belong on the "bible contradictions" thread, but I feel it has its own life.

    My claim: Christianity, as taken from the bible and common tradition, is a cluster of stolen religious ideas, principals, and stories.

    This, on its own, is not a problem in the least. Religions, like creatures, evolve over time to adapt to the changes in the world around them.
    However...
    Those writing the scripture fail to cite their sources, and claim the events to be unique.

    This is theft of intellectual property, unacceptably hypocritical, and reflects poorly on the validity of the scripture as the "one true word of god"

    Discuss!
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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    What have they stolen from? What support do you have for this? Evidence? I demand it.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  3. #3
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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse
    My claim: Christianity, as taken from the bible and common tradition, is a cluster of stolen religious ideas, principals, and stories.
    I agree, though I would say "amalgamated" or "adapted" rather than stolen. Since, as you point out, this is the natural way of most religions.

    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse
    This, on its own, is not a problem in the least. Religions, like creatures, evolve over time to adapt to the changes in the world around them.
    I agree entirely.

    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse
    However...
    Those writing the scripture fail to cite their sources, and claim the events to be unique.
    I'm sorry that you don't approve of the oral tradition, or the people who wrote down the Bible. Also, if they are referring to events that they borrowed from other religions, how does that make them not unique? They don't say that the event happened twice. I am confused. I don't think the Bible says "There was a flood, and only Christians had the flood." Because, you know, it would make sense that every culture and religion would have some reference to that.

    So... I agree.. they do that, yes. And I'd say that the events ARE unique. Even if multiple religions refer to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse
    This is theft of intellectual property, ...
    Oh man, are you going to sue them? Cause you should. I think our laws totally apply to them and what went on back then. Of course... I suppose they may have thought differently back then. I don't think citations were really the fad.


    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse
    ...unacceptably hypocritical, ...
    Okay. "unacceptably?" To whom? I accept that this is the way religions work, and I'm fine with that.


    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse
    and reflects poorly on the validity of the scripture as the "one true word of god"
    I guess I differ from some people here, since I don't believe that the Bible is the one true word of god. I think that "the one true word of god" can be found in the world, in all life, in the self, in religious texts, and all of creation. That's not to say that all religious texts are outright messages from god, but I believe that you can find god's message working in everything.

    So if you want to get a "good christian" to take offense to you, some one else will have to respond. I guess I agree completely with your points, but disagree entirely with your conclusion that it's a problem. Does that make sense?

  4. #4
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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Before I get into this, let me make something clear: I'm a Christian and I firmly believe in the existence of God.

    Now, I think BionicSeahorse has a point. The Bible is a compilation of so many different texts, many of which of have been edited, a lot of gospels and scripts have just not been included, and it really was composed by people with their own interests at heart, not their faith and belief in God.

    Constantine authorized Christianity and commissioned the creation of the Bible in the Edict of Milan, after a battle in which he realized - "Hey, there might be something to this Christianity..." or something along those lines. The council in charge of putting together a Bible were new converts under the Edict of Milan, and there were few or none of the faithful Christians who kept the faith during 250 years of horrifying persecution. They put together texts with moral and religious authority, things that would undoubtedly unify and solidify the religion, and help maintain the Roman Empire. They also incorporated a few pagan beliefs. It was little faith, much self-interest.

    There's also way too many versions of the Bible to be sure which one is the authoritative text on Christian doctrine (although that can be blamed on the Church splitting into thousands of branches). It really has been, for the most part, stick whatever you want in - if it gets popular, it sticks.

    I read the gospels, and I find much inspiration in the words of the Old Testament and the apostles, but many times I wonder if about what the true Bible, written by the Christians who had lived in Jesus' lifetime, witnessed Peter and Paul's martyrdom, endured 250 years of persecution and lived to see the Edict of Milan signed. That is not possible, so I try to separate for myself what is relevant and what is not. We'll never know a lot of stories because of the manner in which the Bible was composed.
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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Christianity came late to the game, and many other religions were already practiced in the area for quite some time. The earliest religious celebrations to gain widespread popularity were based around celestial events. The winter solstice and spring equinox held particular fame. This early calender was shared by all groups with an interest in astronomy. This allowed the nature of the behaviour (rather than the spirit) a tremendous advantage over other religions in the area, in respect to popularity.

    When later civilizations would rise, and set out to conquer other peoples, law and (unfortunately) history is decided by the victor. One religion replaces the other, offering the "real truth." Either from mutual observance if the cosmic event, or simply to acquire complacence from newly acquired subjects, important celebrations are altered to adhere to the new Truth.

    Fast forward to Christ's birth, then another 245 years.
    We have arrived at the first Christmas, a celebration of the birth of a deity. Coincidentally, a few other major religions in the area celebrated the birth of their deity on December 25 as well (where do you think they got that idea?). Much has changed from our humble beginnings as many independent peoples sharing some of the earliest intellectual science to recognize patterns in the world around them. A new religion had split entirely from its host religion and proved itself much more adaptable than its predecessor.

    I am very tired, I will try to write more on Christmas tomorrow.

    And to those "Christians" who don't "really follow the bible" I would like to repeat:

    My claim: Christianity, as taken from the bible and common tradition, is a cluster of stolen religious ideas, principals, and stories. (read: your very specific way to get into Christian heaven, that noone else has realized yet, does not apply here)
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  6. #6
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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse
    Christianity came late to the game, and many other religions were already practiced in the area for quite some time. The earliest religious celebrations to gain widespread popularity were based around celestial events. The winter solstice and spring equinox held particular fame. This early calender was shared by all groups with an interest in astronomy. This allowed the nature of the behaviour (rather than the spirit) a tremendous advantage over other religions in the area, in respect to popularity.

    When later civilizations would rise, and set out to conquer other peoples, law and (unfortunately) history is decided by the victor. One religion replaces the other, offering the "real truth." Either from mutual observance if the cosmic event, or simply to acquire complacence from newly acquired subjects, important celebrations are altered to adhere to the new Truth.

    Fast forward to Christ's birth, then another 245 years.
    We have arrived at the first Christmas, a celebration of the birth of a deity. Coincidentally, a few other major religions in the area celebrated the birth of their deity on December 25 as well (where do you think they got that idea?). Much has changed from our humble beginnings as many independent peoples sharing some of the earliest intellectual science to recognize patterns in the world around them. A new religion had split entirely from its host religion and proved itself much more adaptable than its predecessor.

    I am very tired, I will try to write more on Christmas tomorrow.

    And to those "Christians" who don't "really follow the bible" I would like to repeat:

    My claim: Christianity, as taken from the bible and common tradition, is a cluster of stolen religious ideas, principals, and stories. (read: your very specific way to get into Christian heaven, that noone else has realized yet, does not apply here)
    I'll take your evidence/claims as they come.

    So, right now the only thing you have proffered is that Christmas is stolen. So lets start out with a couple of facts:

    1) The date of Christs Birth is not given anywhere in the Bible. Nor are any of the traditions like the Christmas Tree, etc, etc. So we can state with certainty that the Bible and its authors did not steel this tradition and that on this issue the Bible is genuine and unaltered.

    2) The adoption of the date and traditions of Christmas are well documented. Christmas, in fact, comes rather late onto the Christian scene:

    Christmas was promoted in the Christian East as part of the revival of Catholicism following the death of the pro-Arian Emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. The feast was introduced to Constantinople in 379, and to Antioch in about 380. The feast disappeared after Gregory of Nazianzus resigned as bishop in 381, although it was reintroduced by John Chrysostom in about 400.[1]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas

    And the idea of celebrating Christ's birthday was opposed quite bit by some early Church Fathers:

    In 245, the theologian Origen denounced the idea of celebrating Christ's birthday "as if he were a king pharaoh". He contended that only sinners, not saints, celebrated their birthdays.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas

    So heres the thing. Yes the date and many of the traditions of Christmas are stolen. But we also know exactly when they were adopted and much of the reasoning behind it.

    Throughout the history of Christianity, the Church and many groups have fought against celebrating Christmas. However, that date and its feast proved to be impossible to eliminate. So the Church's strategy was simple. Keep the celebration, but eliminate any pagan meaning in it and make it all about Christ.

    So yeah, its common knowledge Christmas is not necessarily the actual date of Christ's birth.

    Big deal. Its not a Biblically based celebration or a tradition that is even based on the Church Fathers.

    Because we know when and why it was adopted, because we know the exact meanings, because it is not Biblically based, it does not affect the authenticity of Christianity.

    You can argue that Christians probably shouldn't celebrate although the apostles and Paul made it clear that if it does not hurt your faith or involve you in activities that cause you to disobey Christ, then there is no problem with you celebrating.

    In ancient times, meat sacrificed to idols used to be sold on the streets to be eaten as food. This was a major issue in the earlier Church. The Bible says, that for those who just see it as plain meat, for those who will not be affected by the fact that its sacrificial meat, then there is no problem.

    To pagans, the Christmas tree had special meaning and for them this may affect them. For me, it has no special meaning, just a thing to decorate and enjoy. It hurts my faith not one bit. And the fact that we have brought Christ in and made Him the center of all of Christmas, means that my faith in the Almighty is only renewed by Christmas and the leftovers of paganism are absolutely meaningless.

    If it should ever get to a point that Christmas affects my faith in any way, then I shall abandon it all together. For it is not a tradition based on the Bible or the Apostles, thus it is a nice add on, but does not affect the truth and veracity of Christianity.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    1) The date of Christs Birth is not given anywhere in the Bible. Nor are any of the traditions like the Christmas Tree, etc, etc. So we can state with certainty that the Bible and its authors did not steel this tradition and that on this issue the Bible is genuine and unaltered.
    I step out on a limb, and assume that those counting years as Before Christ (as opposed to Before Common Era) could be suggesting his birth on 1 BC, or the next year. I should indicate that I am not arguing for a precise date for his birth, but the current status of the holiday and what led us to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    So heres the thing. Yes the date and many of the traditions of Christmas are stolen. But we also know exactly when they were adopted and much of the reasoning behind it.
    The reasoning behind it is tied to my not-so-well hidden thesis of ethic infection.
    I also offer you a question: How is a religions message of "the one Truth" not diminished by its acceptance of other "incorrect" religious behaviour?
    Or, more specifically, what was the motivation surrounding certain "new traditions" arising?

    Winfrid again set out in 718, visited Rome, and was commissioned in 719 by Pope Gregory II, who gave him his new name of Boniface. He set out to evangelize in Germany and reorganize the church there.
    In 723, Boniface felled the holy oak tree dedicated to Thor near the present-day town of Fritzlar in northern Hesse. He did this with Elijah in mind. Boniface called upon Thor to strike him down if he cut the "holy" tree. Boniface started to chop the oak down, when suddenly a great wind blew the ancient oak over. When Thor did not strike him down, the weight of empirical evidence that their god did not exist pressed upon them.
    The felling of Thor's Oak is commonly regarded as the beginning of German Christianization north and east of the old borders of the Roman Empire.
    A fir tree growing in the roots of the Oak was claimed by Boniface as a new symbol. "This humble tree's wood is used to build your homes: let Christ be at the centre of your households.

    I focus on the effort to control these indigenous people. At the time, the Roman Catholic Church was the only path to god, and after indoctrination, the Germanic tribes were dependent on the Roman Empire for salvation.
    As for the tree itself, trees were important symbols to Germanic tribes, and often worshiped (as Thor's Oak was). Boniface, or his superiors, understood the importance of nature to these pagan tribes and introduced the concept of a Christmas tree on the borrowed birthday of the Christian god. Christmas trees are extremely common practice by the believers of Christ. However, the date and the tradition were independently adopted to appease new recruits. What are we really celebrating on this day?



    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Throughout the history of Christianity, the Church and many groups have fought against celebrating Christmas. However, that date and its feast proved to be impossible to eliminate. So the Church's strategy was simple. Keep the celebration, but eliminate any pagan meaning in it and make it all about Christ.
    Christmas trees were originally Idols worshiped by Germanic tribes, this does not apply well to the core of Christian ethics.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    Because we know when and why it was adopted, because we know the exact meanings, because it is not Biblically based, it does not affect the authenticity of Christianity.
    It is however the most practiced and important of Christian holidays. How does this appear when the celebrated event does not occur during the same season as the biblical version? Can you offer any Christmas traditions that do not have pagan roots (excluding attending a religious sermon)?

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    You can argue that Christians probably shouldn't celebrate although the apostles and Paul made it clear that if it does not hurt your faith or involve you in activities that cause you to disobey Christ, then there is no problem with you celebrating.
    The fact that it is being celebrated is unimportant to me. I am concerned with the process forming its current celebratory form, and what that means about the religion it is promoted by.


    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    To pagans, the Christmas tree had special meaning and for them this may affect them. For me, it has no special meaning, just a thing to decorate and enjoy. It hurts my faith not one bit. And the fact that we have brought Christ in and made Him the center of all of Christmas, means that my faith in the Almighty is only renewed by Christmas and the leftovers of paganism are absolutely meaningless.
    The bold sounds suspiciously like Idol worship. Christians do not worship the cross, they worship the deity.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737 View Post
    If it should ever get to a point that Christmas affects my faith in any way, then I shall abandon it all together. For it is not a tradition based on the Bible or the Apostles, thus it is a nice add on, but does not affect the truth and veracity of Christianity.
    Perhaps you should abandon it. However, I imagine it would be difficult getting used to not spending the time eating, drinking, exchanging gifts, relaxing, and loving your family and friends.
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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse View Post
    Christmas trees were originally Idols worshiped by Germanic tribes, this does not apply well to the core of Christian ethics.
    And the Swastica is utilized in Hinduism and Buddhism and was so before the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany. So, should we have assumed that it had the same meaning to the Nazi ruling party as it did and does to the religions who use the same symbol?

    Just because some pagan tribes worshiped trees at the Winter Solstice doesn't have any bearing on the symbolism for Christianity. Absolutely none. It's only relevant as a history of how Christians eventually ended up adopting the tree as a sign of life in the barrenness of Winter.

    It is however the most practiced and important of Christian holidays. How does this appear when the celebrated event does not occur during the same season as the biblical version? Can you offer any Christmas traditions that do not have pagan roots (excluding attending a religious sermon)?
    First off, it's the most practiced because many secular and non-Christians celebrate it. Secondly, it's not the most important--Easter is. Thirdly, the entire involvement of the celebration of Christ's birth (aka, the entire reason Christians view it as a celebration at all) is obviously original and entirely disconnected from any pagan influence.

    The fact that it is being celebrated is unimportant to me. I am concerned with the process forming its current celebratory form, and what that means about the religion it is promoted by.
    Ok then.

    The bold sounds suspiciously like Idol worship. Christians do not worship the cross, they worship the deity.
    Right, and what Chad said sounds nothing like Idol worship. It sounds like deity worship.
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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Forgive me if this has already been talked about, but wouldn't the charge of theft be predicated on whether or not the information was regarded as property in the first place (rather than free information)?


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    With regards to theft, it may be more interesting to investigate exactly what justifies it. Consider that God orders the Israelites to kill, destroy and plunder human establishments by his word throughout the Old Testament. So then the question becomes what exactly it is about God’s world that removes the “evil” from an act that would otherwise be immoral. If it’s wrong to do “X”, but then God orders someone to do “X”, what causes it to be moral? Do we simply accept by fiat that this is so? If we do, then can’t anyone justify anything simply by saying that they were ordered by God to do it?
    Last edited by Dionysus; April 21st, 2008 at 08:03 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    And the Swastica is utilized in Hinduism and Buddhism and was so before the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany. So, should we have assumed that it had the same meaning to the Nazi ruling party as it did and does to the religions who use the same symbol?
    Hmm, was this in an effort to persuade those groups to join the Nazi party? Did the Nazi party even have a positive attitude those groups could coexist with their Aryan race?

    Interestingly enough, one other thing happened before the rise of the Nazi regime: the adoption of the swastika by German nationalists. The symbol represents life, power, strength, and good luck. Though I am without verifiable sources, I imagine these qualities would be desirable for a fledgling nation.

    While I can always appreciate the Nazi party presented as an analogous parallel with Christianity, there must have been a better defense available.

    I digress, the implied focus was on the hypocrisy, not the actual theft.

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    Just because some pagan tribes worshiped trees at the Winter Solstice doesn't have any bearing on the symbolism for Christianity. Absolutely none. It's only relevant as a history of how Christians eventually ended up adopting the tree as a sign of life in the barrenness of Winter.
    It has everything to do with the symbolism of Christianity. Were it not for those tree worshipers (and those imposing), you would not have the custom of a Christmas tree.

    Quote Originally Posted by phrique View Post
    First off, it's the most practiced because many secular and non-Christians celebrate it. Secondly, it's not the most important--Easter is. Thirdly, the entire involvement of the celebration of Christ's birth (aka, the entire reason Christians view it as a celebration at all) is obviously original and entirely disconnected from any pagan influence.
    Most important was poor word choice, as it is an opinion.
    In my personal upbringing, Christmas was definitely the central holiday of my family's religion. I have found most other Christians place similar significance upon it.
    The fact that it is most practiced would be more relevant anyways, as it is the most visible representation of your religion to the unconverted.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Forgive me if this has already been talked about, but wouldn't the charge of theft be predicated on whether or not the information was regarded as property in the first place (rather than free information)?
    Regardless of what would happen to Jesus in court, I think its obvious the intellectual property of others was received, and utilized for gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    With regards to theft, it may be more interesting to investigate exactly what justifies it.
    I could explain, but not justify it. Justifying biblical hypocrisy always falls back on the same logical short-circuit religion has always used to dissuade thought: "because god, thats why."
    Last edited by BionicSeahorse; April 21st, 2008 at 07:47 PM.
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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse View Post
    Regardless of what would happen to Jesus in court, I think its obvious the intellectual property of others was received, and utilized for gain.
    But that’s the point. If it’s not first “property”, then it can’t be intellectual property. It has to be property before it can be said to be stolen. If the information is made freely available for anyone to use however they see fit, then there’s no recourse because there’s no crime.

    Now, if you’re looking to address the moral issue, I think you’ll still find yourself in the same boat. The question is still whether or not the materials in question are actually property in the sense of “belonging” to an entity. I can see your point about ideas, principals, stories and so on, but I think the weakness in your argument lies in the question of these thing existing as defined property rather than simply understood symbols.

    Protecting IP is something I do in my job, so I can tell you that if something cannot be clearly defined as property, then you’ve got no leg to stand on when if comes to accusations of theft. That really is all there is to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse View Post
    I could explain, but not justify it. Justifying biblical hypocrisy always falls back on the same logical short-circuit religion has always used to dissuade thought: "because god, thats why."
    Exactly, which is why no one has taken this on, I’d wager.

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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Then Dio, perhaps my mistake was not titling the thread "thou shalt not bear false witness."
    It would be my second choice of ironic commandments. The idea is that new members are intentionally misled by existing leaders towards a distorted truth.

    I found an interesting tidbit about Christian refusal of the sabbath day:
    In Judaism Saturday is the Sabbath. In dominant forms of Christianity the Sabbath is Sunday.
    Constantine was the first Pope and the founder of Catholicism (ever learn Latin?).
    In order to unite Pagans and Christians against the Jews, he began traditions such as Sunday Sabbath (Pagan rather than Christian Sabbath) and praying to Mary (a Pagan Goddess). A council also re-founded Easter as the resurrection. Originally symbols like eggs and rabbits made more sense, as the celebration revolved around fertility. Now they seem just bizarre.

    Working on a Sunday (excluding specific farm work) became punishable by death.

    Until we leave the Dark Ages, Catholicism is the only non-personalized Christian system.
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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse View Post
    Then Dio, perhaps my mistake was not titling the thread "thou shalt not bear false witness."
    It would be my second choice of ironic commandments. The idea is that new members are intentionally misled by existing leaders towards a distorted truth.
    I think that's probably a bit closer, but then this approach begs the question of what is "truth". I don't think there's much question that Christianity has "begged, borrowed and stolen" from other religions, which to me is indicative of not only the overall quality of the religion itself, but also the general desperation on the parts of the founders to squash all other faiths in favor of their One, True™ system. It's even more interesting when you consider that there are some sects of Christianity that outright ignore the horrors in the OT in favor of the NT (it's also pretty funny that the concept of Hell doesn't really even present itself until Jesus Christ, meek and mild, comes along).

    And you're perfectly right about such oddities like Easter and eggs and so on. Yet another stupid byproduct of a flawed and historically tyrannical belief system fomented by those in power for all the wrong reasons for far too long.

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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    I would answer that "truth" could be best defined as that which is not false. Ultimately, things can only be proven false, and not "true" (with special exception to careful application of binary logic).

    The frustrating part is that you can not prove everything that is logically false is truly false. This is logic's only shortcoming in my opinion, but it also not logic's job. Accepting that certain things are truly false becomes a matter of "faith" for me. Most embarrassing.
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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse View Post
    Hmm, was this in an effort to persuade those groups to join the Nazi party? Did the Nazi party even have a positive attitude those groups could coexist with their Aryan race?
    You're missing the point entirely. The point is that symbolism is only important in reference to those using the symbol. In other words, while a swastika depicts an ugly regime for most in the Western World, for many religious in the East the swastika is a religious symbol and has no negative connotation.

    Similarly with the trees. For pagans they were something to be worshiped during the winter solstice. The meaning of the Christmas Tree to Christians is completely different. From St. Boniface:

    Quote Originally Posted by St. Boniface
    This humble tree's wood is used to build your homes: let Christ be at the centre of your households. Its leaves remain evergreen in the darkest days: let Christ be your constant light. Its boughs reach out to embrace and its top points to heaven: let Christ be your Comfort and Guide.
    Interestingly enough, one other thing happened before the rise of the Nazi regime: the adoption of the swastika by German nationalists. The symbol represents life, power, strength, and good luck. Though I am without verifiable sources, I imagine these qualities would be desirable for a fledgling nation.
    Absolutely, but in the Western world it now has an incredibly negative connotation...did Charles Manson etch it into his forehead as a symbol of life, power, strength and good luck or as a tribute to a murderous, genocidal regime that perpetuated one of the most deadly wars in the history of the world?

    While I can always appreciate the Nazi party presented as an analogous parallel with Christianity, there must have been a better defense available.
    I appreciate the sarcasm.

    It has everything to do with the symbolism of Christianity. Were it not for those tree worshipers (and those imposing), you would not have the custom of a Christmas tree.
    Actually, were it not for Boniface cutting down a tree worshiped by the Germanic tribes we wouldn't have the Christmas tree.

    Most important was poor word choice, as it is an opinion.
    In my personal upbringing, Christmas was definitely the central holiday of my family's religion. I have found most other Christians place similar significance upon it.
    Your personal upbringing has nothing to do with the truth of the priority of the Christian holidays. The reason Christmas gets so much attention is because it's popular secularly and it's a happy, cheerful occasion where people buy each other gifts. Religiously speaking, which is the only thing that's important if we're going to discuss this from the perspective of religious symbolism and 'theft' it is second to Easter.

    Your assertion is similar to Christians who think Hanukkah is the most important of Jewish holidays because of its proximity to Christmas, when if you actually take the time to talk to any Jew you'd realize it's almost completely unimportant.

    The fact that it is most practiced would be more relevant anyways, as it is the most visible representation of your religion to the unconverted.
    No, it's not the most important thing because you're making an assertion about the religious symbolism and origin of the practices. How secular people celebrate a holiday means little to the religious practice of the holiday.

    By the way...that word, holiday. That word is derived from the phrase hālig dæg (holy day) from Middle English. Wow, it's really funny how older terms gradually form newer ones. Even funnier is now the word doesn't really have the same meaning anymore! How in the world could that possibly be?
    -= Phrique =-

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  16. #16
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Quote Originally Posted by BionicSeahorse View Post
    I would answer that "truth" could be best defined as that which is not false.
    *Sigh...*

    Well of course, but that's nothing but philosophcal white noise here. Your statement was "The idea is that new members are intentionally misled by existing leaders towards a distorted truth", so in order to supprt that idea, you need to show what Truth™ is as opposed to "distorted" truth.

  17. #17
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    Re: Thou Shalt Not Steal

    Perfectly fair, I did not understand before.

    Truth vs truth:
    On this forum I never (intentionally) put a claim on Absolute Truth.
    Allow the leader from my last post make another cameo. Constantine held a specific set of beliefs that he at least believed to be Absolute Truth. I would call this "his truth" (little t). While I do not know if his merging of religions for control purposes pushed us a step closer to Absolute Truth, he obviously was now propagating a system he did not personally believe in. He was not telling the truth.
    I don't mean to impose, but I am the Ocean.
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