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Let's try to be civil, shall we?

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posted on Apr, 20 2005 @ 10:12 PM
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Originally posted by driley
Okay, so I'm new. So maybe I don't know how these things work. But I'm seeing people with "Fighter" under their name and, to me, that seems like an perfect solution.

So, I will agree to join with any Mason who has been "defending" here to debate any two people who wish to present an anti-Masonic point of view in the debate forum (provided staff are willing to host such an event).


I'm not a Mason at this point in time but I would be willing to defend the position. There are, of course, those here who are better suited for such a task, but never let it be said that I wasn't willing to step up.


If either side refuses this challenge, let the record show them to be unwilling to have their views publically challenged and judged. In which case, I think the mods should lock this thread, post it up at the top of the Secret Society forum and let it be the last word on the topic.


Heheh last word... You're dreaming.


There will always be people who have never been here before who did a google search on Freemasonry and landed here. I was one.



There. Now, guys, put up or shush.



I hope you're not holding your breath...




posted on Apr, 20 2005 @ 10:58 PM
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Debate is ridiculous.

You could have all the facts, and information in the world as to what you as an 'outsider' feel is wrong with Freemasonry (such as, that it was founded with the interests of the Aristocracy at heart).

You would still only have shown examples of 'bad apples', though. You would have done nothing more than point out the Benedict Arnolds from the George Washingtons (both of whom were Masons).

To me, that is evidence that Masonry does not ALWAYS make good men better, and that also, it can appeal to the sort of man who yearns for something to be kept from him, and revealed slowly.

Again, the point is not how many bad apples there are. The problem is that there ARE, and where is the encouragement to find them?



posted on Apr, 20 2005 @ 11:18 PM
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You guys have all made very good replies and I agree.

Axeman:

You are also correct. What's clear is we can't overgeneralize, and that goes for infinite contexts. That said, anti-masons should be careful with what they say about masonary and so too should the Masons. In fact, I have seen Masons saying that things are different in some instances at other Masonic lodges and specially in other countries. That of course implies that no one Mason can generalize: no non-mason should generalize either. However, I have seen enough suspiscious things related to masonary to raise an eyebrow, not that I can say that "Masonary is evil.": I won't. If it is, then I am convinced only those at the top know, whereas the lower masses whom belong have little idea.

And as for the divine illumination "promised" by Masonary: I strongly believe the world's "secrets" can be obtained by oneself - by paying attention and yearning for knowledge. As an extension, socieities, like the Masons, are for those who need some company or the motivation to obtain philosophical knowledge.



posted on Apr, 20 2005 @ 11:49 PM
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Originally posted by akilles
Debate is ridiculous.


Why am I not surprised that you think so?



You could have all the facts, and information in the world as to what you as an 'outsider' feel is wrong with Freemasonry (such as, that it was founded with the interests of the Aristocracy at heart).


How was it founded with aristocracy at heart? Please explain why you think it was. What are the facts you speak of?


You would still only have shown examples of 'bad apples', though. You would have done nothing more than point out the Benedict Arnolds from the George Washingtons (both of whom were Masons).


How is this relevant?


To me, that is evidence that Masonry does not ALWAYS make good men better, and that also, it can appeal to the sort of man who yearns for something to be kept from him, and revealed slowly.


Freemasonry is a human institution, therefore subject to the human condition. Fallability. It is UNARGUABLE, however, that the VAST majority of Masons have improved themselves and their families and communities by putting into practice the lessons taught in Freemasonry.


Again, the point is not how many bad apples there are. The problem is that there ARE, and where is the encouragement to find them?


Immoral men reveal themselves as such by their actions and words. There is no need for an internal "Masonic Police" or whatever. Masons are taken at their word by other Masons until such a time they show that they cannot be. In most cases I would think this would lead to expulsion.

You see, his is exactly the kind of posting I am talking about. You have completely circumvented the point of the discussion and brought up points that are in no way relevant to what we are trying to discuss.

Do me a favor Akilles: Answer in your own words the questions I posed in the first post of this thread. Go on, don't be bashful...



posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 12:08 AM
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Originally posted by Guy Kawasaki
You guys have all made very good replies and I agree.

Axeman:

You are also correct. What's clear is we can't overgeneralize, and that goes for infinite contexts. That said, anti-masons should be careful with what they say about masonary and so too should the Masons. In fact, I have seen Masons saying that things are different in some instances at other Masonic lodges and specially in other countries. That of course implies that no one Mason can generalize: no non-mason should generalize either.


Well said and I definitely agree.


However, I have seen enough suspiscious things related to masonary to raise an eyebrow, not that I can say that "Masonary is evil.": I won't. If it is, then I am convinced only those at the top know, whereas the lower masses whom belong have little idea.


This is the argument I see pressed the most about Masonry. What you have to understand is that there simply is no "top". In Freemasonry (that is to say, "Symbolic Lodge") There are the three degrees, that's it.

In the Scottish Rite, there is the 4° through the 32°, with the 33° being honorary (that is to say, and "award"). The Supreme Council, 33° would be the closest there is to a "top", but what they do is hardly a secret.

www.srmason-sj.org...

There are others who can go more in depth about it, but the point is that there is no "top authority" in Freemasonry or any of the appendant bodies. They are all independant of each other, yet united in the fact that they are all Freemasons first. Everything else is in addition to that. I'll admit it is a difficult concept, but when you actually take some time to look into it and talk to people who are in a position to know, it becomes pretty clear.


And as for the divine illumination "promised" by Masonary: I strongly believe the world's "secrets" can be obtained by oneself - by paying attention and yearning for knowledge. As an extension, socieities, like the Masons, are for those who need some company or the motivation to obtain philosophical knowledge.


Perhaps, and I fully agree that Freemasonry does not have a monopoly on the "illumination" or the knowledge itself; it is the method of teaching it - that is the Masons' claim to fame, as it were. There are many places to gain this knowledge; it is, as you said, a matter of paying attention and seeking.

Good post.



posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 12:56 AM
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Originally posted by Guy Kawasaki
In fact, I have seen Masons saying that things are different in some instances at other Masonic lodges and specially in other countries. That of course implies that no one Mason can generalize: no non-mason should generalize either.


EXACTLY. That's exactly why it's absurd for people to think that Freemasonry is a certain way just because Pike wrote it in a book, or another mason says something that sounds suspicious. Every organization of masons does things differently, and masonry is interpreted differently by every mason. We are told to come to our own conclusions about the lessons we are taught.



However, I have seen enough suspiscious things related to masonary to raise an eyebrow, not that I can say that "Masonary is evil.": I won't. If it is, then I am convinced only those at the top know, whereas the lower masses whom belong have little idea.


What kinds of suspicious things? I have been a mason for a while, very active, and NEVER seen anything that I would consider suspicious. I think it may just be a misconception on your part, or a misunderstanding from not having all of the information. Would you share some of those things? You can U2U me if you wish.

While there is no "top", no "rank" in masonry, there are several of what you would call "high-ranking" masons on this forum, and they put up the same kinds of answers that are consistent with everyone else's.



And as for the divine illumination "promised" by Masonary: I strongly believe the world's "secrets" can be obtained by oneself - by paying attention and yearning for knowledge. As an extension, socieities, like the Masons, are for those who need some company or the motivation to obtain philosophical knowledge.


Like Axeman said, nothing masonry teaches is mind-blowing knowledge. It can all be found in the Bible. But THE WAY it teaches those lessons is VERY special, and anyone who wants to be a mason can recfeive it.

And no, masonry is not for people who need motivation. Like we say, we take GOOD MEN, and MAKE THEM BETTER. That implies that the men we accept are already exceptional (or seem to be anyways). There are THOUSANDS of different reasons to join, none of which you mentioned.



posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 02:01 AM
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Originally posted by Guy Kawasaki
And as for the divine illumination "promised" by Masonary: I strongly believe the world's "secrets" can be obtained by oneself - by paying attention and yearning for knowledge. As an extension, socieities, like the Masons, are for those who need some company or the motivation to obtain philosophical knowledge.


Guy

There are two different 'types' of secrets in freemasonry. The first are the 'official' ones, if you like, the methods of recognition. In my jurisdiction they are only meant to be used inside the temple as part of the ritual, but some freemasons do use them outside of the temple although personally I don't agree with this.

The methods of recognition are important for two reasons:
(a) These are the only things in freemasonry that a mason promises to keep secret, and no genuine freemason will tell you what they are. This promise is representative of Trust and the strength of a mason's word. Consequently even if these secrets ever become known by everybody in the world a mason will still not tell you what there are. Indeed in this scenario it becomes a better test.

(b)They are usually cited as the mechanism by which freemasons will identify each other and assist each other. Notwithstanding the point above about not using them outside the temple, there are much better ways to identify yourself as a freemason which only another freemason would know

The other secrets are the intangible ones. It becomes obvious to freemasons sooner or later that the powerful message of freemasonry is the real secret, as no-one (particularly antis) appreciates what it is. The lessons of morality, of duty, service, caring for others and improving yourself as a person are at the heart of freemasonry, and they are available to any freemason who wishes to pay attention to them.

But they are not unique to freemasonry, FM draws most of its lessons from the bible, so one could equally go there for enlightenment. And not everyone pays attention to them. 'Making good men better' could be more accurately described as 'making good men better if they want to'. Freemasonry presents these 'universal truths' in a slightly different way, quite refreshing and in many ways easier to understand.


And as for the divine illumination "promised" by Masonary: I strongly believe the world's "secrets" can be obtained by oneself - by paying attention and yearning for knowledge.


This is exactly correct, although the quality of knowledge will relate to the value of the source to which you go.


As an extension, socieities, like the Masons, are for those who need some company or the motivation to obtain philosophical knowledge.


Arguably correct, although there is much more to freemasonry than philosophical or spiritual knowledge. The man who locks himself in his room studying the bible will learn many of the lessons of freemasonry himself, but there is much more he will miss out on.

Freemasonry is a 'blueprint for life'. There are others around, but few better. Freemasonry works for me, which is all it ever wants to do - work on the individual. It's a global movement completely by accident - a byproduct of its success.

[edit on 21-4-2005 by Trinityman]



posted on Apr, 21 2005 @ 02:25 AM
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Originally posted by akilles
Debate is ridiculous.

You could have all the facts, and information in the world as to what you as an 'outsider' feel is wrong with Freemasonry (such as, that it was founded with the interests of the Aristocracy at heart).

You would still only have shown examples of 'bad apples', though. You would have done nothing more than point out the Benedict Arnolds from the George Washingtons (both of whom were Masons).


One of the biggest causes of misunderstanding about freemasonry is the focus on freemasons rather than freemasonry. There will be many many members of freemasonry who have been touched for the better by the fraternity. There will equally be others for whom the lessons of freemasonry completely bypassed. But this tells us nothing about the organisation that they are members of. Get away from good masons/bad masons if you want to get to the bottom of things.

Incidentally, Benedict Arnold was a British patriot and did what he believed was right. George Washington was a traitorous rebel and an opportunist. It all very much depends on your perspective.



To me, that is evidence that Masonry does not ALWAYS make good men better, and that also, it can appeal to the sort of man who yearns for something to be kept from him, and revealed slowly.


Correct, FM does not always make good men better; but it never made good men bad. And whilst it has the capacity to make bad men good it is more likely that bad men will remain bad irrespective of freemasonry's influence.

As for the bit about yearning to have things revealed slowly... not sure how relevant this is. I'm quite sure one of the reasons you don't seem to be able to 'get' freemasonry is that you have a quite remarkable capacity for losing the thread of a discussion and going off at a tangent. If you remain focussed you are more likely to make progress.


Again, the point is not how many bad apples there are. The problem is that there ARE, and where is the encouragement to find them?


Completely correct in the first instance, but there you go again getting sidetracked. If you're on a mission to expunge bad apples from freemasonry then all well and good, but you will do this more effectively if you (a) join and (b) have the best interests of the fraternity at heart. But if you want to learn a little more about freemasonry, you need to listen a little more to what is being told to you.

Although I don't think 'making good men better' is a perfect description of our activities, it can't be used to bash us over the head with as it makes no comment on bad men. The truth is that bad men shouldn't be joining us in the first place, but they do because we are an organisation of humans who make human mistakes just like everyone else. Masonic supermen? - we try and we fail (because no-one human is perfect) but the point is - we try.



posted on Apr, 22 2005 @ 01:13 AM
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Trinityman, Sebatwerk and the like:

Course the delivery is key in the context of imparting philosophical knowledge. In this way, if what you say about Freemasonary is true, that it can be labelled as a superior method to others, then that sounds promising. However, I don't think one can actually make such a claim. But, maybe you are right. As for philosophical knowledge, maybe I should stipulate what that means. Since I did a degree in Philosophy, I feel credible enough to do so: Philosophy deals with both the tangible (brain) and the intangible (morality). Specially the latter. Science of course is almost striclty focussed on the tanglible: while it uses the dogma of the scientific method as its tool for "truth", Philosophy not only uses it, but questions the method itself as an offshoot.

Important: Philosophy used to be the all encompassing field of study, where those like Plato and Aristotle were experts in all the sciences. Philosophy has branched off, obviously, in many specialized fields we can observe today. It should not be forgotten that philosophy is the root of all knowledge and branches of study: it necessarily touches them all. In this way, when I say philosophical knowledge, I mean all knowledge. As for the degree, perhaps I could argue that my experience is superior to anything I can think of as well. But that is foolish and I won't. I aknowledge I have little to no knowledge of Freemasonary first hand. But it should be noted that there are many other mediums to learn such things. One that interests me is going on 2 week long trips to a local Buddihst temple here in Vancouver, BC.



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