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New Freemason, having some doubts

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posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by cloakndagger
I don't understand why you have to join a secret society in order to help your fellow man or just helping your community.


You don't.

Joining Freemasonry or a similar charitable organisation is just a more structured form of something you can do privately or alone.

I tend to think that 50,000 people organised and dedicated to a cause produces better results than 50,000 disparate people who feel inclined towards a cause, but with no organisation. The momentum is somewhat less with the latter, in my mind anyway...




posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 08:45 PM
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reply to post by kozmo
 


Tiresome indeed!

If the original poster wants take part in a fraternity, where exactly is the problem. No one forces him to. No one says "now that you've joined us, you can no longer operate as an individual." This is a false dilemma fallacy that you have set up, because you are trying to narrow the options down to two alternatives: either you operate autonomously by not joining any group ever, or you join a group and you become all those other insults you've hurled at the fraternity. Of course, the reality is you can do both.

I must say I find it hard to believe that you are not a member of any group - and that you have even shunned a higher education in the name of your views. If it is true, then you are at least being consistent. Of course, I still do not see how people acting as individuals can have more or even equal impact than people who operate together. Concepts such as economies of scale tell us that when people combine forces, they achieve goals more efficiently.

You have also utilized a straw man fallacy by inferring that somehow self-validation comes from being a member of a group, and could never come from acting autonomously. It seems to me that in groups the diversity of opinions is actually likely to lessen any self-validation. Conversely, when you act on your own you can validate yourself constantly because no one else is around to tell you other wise.

For someone who is so dedicated to mankind, why do you insult your fellow men simply because they work to accomplish their goals in groups? Or will you now argue that economic principles like economies of scale and efficiency are actually all wrong, too?

Finally, your continued reliance on veiled insults only servers to further demonstrate that you lack evidence. I don't even have to comment on it, as it's quite clear. :down:

[edit on 13-12-2007 by LightinDarkness]



posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by scientist
 


Absolutely correct scientist. I was personally refering to a section of text in the Entered Apprentice degree, not quite sure if it is the same in your jurisdiction as well. Sorry I did not respond sooner, I just read your post.

[edit on 13-12-2007 by AugustusMasonicus]



posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 09:05 PM
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Originally posted by AugustusMasonicus
reply to post by scientist
 


I was personally refering to a section of text...


ha, should have caught that.
It's late...

[edit on 13-12-2007 by scientist]



posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 09:56 PM
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Originally posted by cloakndagger
I don't understand why you have to join a secret society in order to help your fellow man or just helping your community. If you have ever heard about Michael Tsarion then you already know about those on the top totem pole.

www.taroscopes.com...


You don't! Absolutely not.. many people do it every day with out knowing it, or join thousands of organizations that help, or donate to charities, or are active in churches or religious circles...

Masonry is just another route that some choose to take. We should all be trying to get to the same place though..

AugustusMasonicus

fascinating..

It is a shame then that the connection is not open, perhaps if it where those that excel in Scouts would become Masons.

But after becoming a Mason, and looking back on Scouts, I always knew the Military aspect..... especially since I lived next to an air force base so every ones dad was in the air force.. but I never imagined a Masonic aspect. Clearly, there are in fact numerous connections between the two. Some obvious, some more subtle.

Though I am sure some people in Scouts would object heavily about this influence, they always seemed to religious to me.

OK ... NOW back to the OP.......

Anyone else ever notice that a Masonic thread never stays on topic for more then a page?
I think we cover 100 different subjects in each thread...



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:35 AM
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Originally posted by golddragnet
James 5:12 says almost the same thing, except that he says that if you swear such oaths you will "fall under condemnation." Both the Lord Himself and James say that Christians must not swear oaths! They come from evil and bring condemnation. If you say you trust the Bible and still do those things, you have to be a blind fool or a liar. Sorry if that offends you, but what would you call it? You have done that which offends the Lord if you believe the bible.


Golddragnet, I would like to ask you the same straightforward question, since you posted your reply, restating exactly the same argument without answering my question first...

Were you not baptised? Did you not promise to live your life according to God's word?

Baptism, too, is a promise or oath.

A promise is an oath - same meaning, different word - "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

So, did you, or did you not, promise to live your life (to the best of your ability) according to God's word when you were baptised?


[edit on 14/12/2007 by Saurus]



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:44 AM
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Originally posted by intrepid
I have a question. Do Boy Scouts take an oath(I was never one)? If so does that make them less Christian by doing so?


There was no mention in the bible of an exemption for boy scouts to take oaths, not that I read anyhow, maybe one of the masons will such an exemption???

And why would a boy scout be subjected to an oath anyway, is his word not enough?



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:51 AM
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Originally posted by Saurus

Originally posted by golddragnet
James 5:12 says almost the same thing, except that he says that if you swear such oaths you will "fall under condemnation." Both the Lord Himself and James say that Christians must not swear oaths! They come from evil and bring condemnation. If you say you trust the Bible and still do those things, you have to be a blind fool or a liar. Sorry if that offends you, but what would you call it? You have done that which offends the Lord if you believe the bible.


Golddragnet, I would like to ask you the same straightforward question, since you posted your reply, restating exactly the same argument without answering my question first...

Were you not baptised? Did you not promise to live your life according to God's word?


I was never baptized and I am not affiliated to any organised religion. Anyone can read the bible, you don't have to follow any rules to do so.

The majority of people who are baptized are still infants and don't actually say anything.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:59 AM
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Fair enough, Golddragnet.

Next question: Are you married? Did you make a wedding vow?

My dictionary states that a vow and an oath are one and the same thing.

According to your interpretation of the Bible as you have presented it here, to make a wedding vow would be equally wrong.


[edit on 14/12/2007 by Saurus]



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 07:51 AM
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OK Golddragnet, tell you what: let's agree to stop the petty insults and discuss the matter like grown-ups, and I'll answer your questions. Agreed?


Originally posted by golddragnet


There was no mention in the bible of an exemption for boy scouts to take oaths, not that I read anyhow, maybe one of the masons will such an exemption???


Traditionally, the Christian Church has not opposed taking oaths. What it opposed was taking *false* oaths, and the traditional interpretation of Christ's words concerned the Pharisaical oaths. Therefore, most branches of Christianity allow the taking of oaths, and always have.

To use an example, God placed himself under oath multiple times in the Old Testament, and Paul placed himself under oath several times in the New Testament. Here are a couple of examples of Paul swearing oaths:

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; (Romans 1:9)

Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. (II Corinthians 1:23)

For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:8)


This is what I meant earlier about some people, quick to condemn other for being non-Christians, who themselves don't understand Christian teachings. Aside from the Quackers and a few other modern denominations, it has always been the teachings of the Church that oaths are proper on certain occasion provided they are not frivolous.


And why would a boy scout be subjected to an oath anyway, is his word not enough?


Boy Scouts have always been required to take the oath of Scouthood, it is part of the initiation process.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 08:12 AM
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reply to post by LightinDarkness
 


Valid points; all of them. My beef comes not from being a member of a group. My beef comes from the secret nature of the group, the rituals and such. To me, they seem absolutely pointless and juvenile. That is just MY opinion and perhaps you see such tradition differently which is fine. I guess that there seems to be a complete disconnect between the stated purpose of the organization and the actual practices as they are inconsistent with the stated goals.

Example: If I am attempting to be philanthropic and benefit mankind as a whole, why do I need to don a cloak, carry candles, chant, get paddled or whatever it is you guys do!?!? I understand and agree with your strength in numbers argument. It is evidenced by Goodwill, Salavation Army, Red Cross, Purple Heart Veterans etc... If the stated goals and intentions of Masonry were accurate then wouldn't membership into one of those organizations better serve the realization of said goal? It would seem to me that all of those organizations are much better suited to helping you reach your stated goals and objectives, no???

To clarify on another issue... I did attend University and have received several degrees. However, I did so out of necessity as society as a whole requires that accredidation in order to advance economically. While in attendance I even engaged in extra-curriculars such as the karate club and lacrosse. However, those "organizations" weren't about anything other than enjoyment of the sport. Nothing was secretive, nothing was verboten in terms of sharing with the genreal public - in fact, our "Rituals" were performed openly and the pulic was encouraged to attend and bear witness to the event. Also, in karate club we didn't honor a belt system as every single one of us were "White" belts to signify that none were better than others and that we all intended to learn. I think you could agree that Masonry hardly shares that similarity.

Further, I never identified as "Karate Club Member" or "Lacross Player" as you refer to your yourself as "Masons" and "Brethren" and your practice as "Craft" - all of which occurs behind closed doors - often out of the view of other members. I never swore any oaths or allegances. We had no secret rituals, practices etc... To me it all just seems so hokey.

Apparently there is no to this Masonry thing than you all are letting on to - you are being disingenious regarding the stated goals and purpose of this organization as I have already demonstrated that there are organizations far better suited to achieve those stated goals and that the general practices and structure are counter-intuitive to reaching the stated goals.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 08:28 AM
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Originally posted by kozmo

Valid points; all of them. My beef comes not from being a member of a group. My beef comes from the secret nature of the group, the rituals and such.


Unfortunately, its all published in the Internet. Not much of a secret there. I am actually against a total-transparecy-big-brother world, but there you go.



Example: If I am attempting to be philanthropic and benefit mankind as a whole, why do I need to don a cloak, carry candles, chant, get paddled or whatever it is you guys do!?!?


Understand the difference between giving something an atmosphere of novelty, sacredness and enjoyability and making something profane, mundane, common, normal.



It would seem to me that all of those organizations are much better suited to helping you reach your stated goals and objectives, no???


Can you tell the difference between openly bragging about the charity one gives, and keeping quiet about it? I prefer the latter.




Further, I never identified as "Karate Club Member" or "Lacross Player" as you refer to your yourself as "Masons" and "Brethren" and your practice as "Craft" - all of which occurs behind closed doors - often out of the view of other members. I never swore any oaths or allegances. We had no secret rituals, practices etc... To me it all just seems so hokey.


So it seems hokey, childish, pointless to you. Fine. I guess I can appreciate that viewpoint. But: So what? Nobody is forcing you to join or even to like it.

You allow other humans to go about their favourite activities while you allow yourself to go about yours.

The worlds problems begin with the statement "THEY arent supposed to be...". as long as something is within the framework of the law, and we dont live in a dictatorship, anyone can do what they please.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 08:36 AM
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reply to post by kozmo
 


None of us has ever stated or implied that masonry is (or should be) for everyone. Nor has anybody ever stated that masonry is the only way to achieve the goal of being a good man. It is just the one we have chosen to follow.

As for referring to ourselves as masons or brother, well that is how many of us think of ourselves. Most of the masons I know personally hold another mason to a higher standard of conduct than the general public. Basically I expect more from a brother in his dealings with people or society than I do of someone who is not a mason.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by Masonic Student
 


All of which has been made abundantly clear ad nauseum. However, each of you is failing to address my previous statements - also made ad nauseum, that the stated goals and objectives as stated by Masons regarding Masonry, can be achieved without the silly secretiveness and rituals. In continue to fail to see the point in all of that - but to each their own I suppose.




posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 09:02 AM
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Originally posted by kozmo
the stated goals and objectives as stated by Masons regarding Masonry, can be achieved without the silly secretiveness and rituals. In continue to fail to see the point in all of that - but to each their own I suppose.


perhaps it would be easier for you to see masonry as a big support group, as opposed to a one-man army.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 09:14 AM
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Originally posted by kozmo
reply to post by Masonic Student
 


All of which has been made abundantly clear ad nauseum. However, each of you is failing to address my previous statements - also made ad nauseum, that the stated goals and objectives as stated by Masons regarding Masonry, can be achieved without the silly secretiveness and rituals. In continue to fail to see the point in all of that - but to each their own I suppose.



So, since you're being agreed with, if the end goal of a better society is achieved through Masonry and/or one's religion and/or a small dog with green spots, what matters the path?



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 09:21 AM
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Originally posted by kozmo


Example: If I am attempting to be philanthropic and benefit mankind as a whole, why do I need to don a cloak, carry candles, chant, get paddled or whatever it is you guys do!?!?


Here, I think you've made an important point, and one that must be addressed in order to understand Freemasonry. Freemasonry's purpose is *not* to be a charitable institution, per se, even though many people, including some Masons, regard it as such. Instead, all the various charities are simply side effects of Masonic teachings.

The way I see it, as do many others, is that Freemasonry is designed as a method of personal and spiritual enlightenment; a metaphysical journey, so to speak, to explore the deeper questions in life. When we begin to ask serious questions about ourselves and the world we find ourselves living in, we generally develop a philanthropic attitude, and try to assist our fellow creatures. But this in itself is only one of many aspects of spiritual development.



Also, in karate club we didn't honor a belt system as every single one of us were "White" belts to signify that none were better than others and that we all intended to learn. I think you could agree that Masonry hardly shares that similarity.


I can't agree at all. Masonry is one of the oldest and largest organizations that promotes full equality. One of the most important Masonic symbols is the Level, a tool used by operative stonemasons to insure that the stones thaey lay sisde by side are even. To us, this is the symbol of equality. This is further demonstrated ritualistically in the closing of the Lodge, when the Master of the Lodge asks the Senior Warden "How do Masons meet?", his response is "On the level", i.e., in full equality.


Further, I never identified as "Karate Club Member" or "Lacross Player" as you refer to your yourself as "Masons" and "Brethren" and your practice as "Craft" - all of which occurs behind closed doors - often out of the view of other members. I never swore any oaths or allegances. We had no secret rituals, practices etc... To me it all just seems so hokey.


You are cetainly entitled to your opinion; however, there are important historical and philosophical reasons as to why such things were adopted into Masonry. And in college, had you joined a fraternity along with karate and lacross clubs, you would have been involved in members-only ritual, and would have considered your fellow fraternity members your brothers.


Apparently there is no to this Masonry thing than you all are letting on to - you are being disingenious regarding the stated goals and purpose of this organization as I have already demonstrated that there are organizations far better suited to achieve those stated goals and that the general practices and structure are counter-intuitive to reaching the stated goals.



There are several different interpretations of the goals of Freemasonry. In its modern form, beginning in the 17th century, its goal was to provide intellectuals, artists, and dissenters a "club atmosphere" which allowed them to express their views without fear of persecution; this is why Freemasonry attracted so many thinkers of the Enlightenment, and why the ritual is based around Enlightenment teachings. The fraternity also began attracting mystics and philosophers of metaphysics, who also incorporated ideas taken from various mystical traditions, most notable alchemy, Hermeticism, and Kabalah.

It could be said that Freemasonry's primary goal is to preserve these teachings in their traditional form, while expressing Enlightenment ideals.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 09:56 AM
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Originally posted by kozmo
reply to post by Masonic Student
 


All of which has been made abundantly clear ad nauseum. However, each of you is failing to address my previous statements - also made ad nauseum, that the stated goals and objectives as stated by Masons regarding Masonry, can be achieved without the silly secretiveness and rituals. In continue to fail to see the point in all of that - but to each their own I suppose.



Of course they can be achieved by other means. That point is obvious and has never been denied or debated, which is why I never felt it necessary to comment upon. The point of the “secretivness” being silly, I think we simply have a disagreement, we keep it out of tradition and respect for our predecessors. Practically speaking the “secrets” of free masonry have long since been published. But keeping them is important to us.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by kozmo
reply to post by Masonic Student
 


All of which has been made abundantly clear ad nauseum. However, each of you is failing to address my previous statements - also made ad nauseum, that the stated goals and objectives as stated by Masons regarding Masonry, can be achieved without the silly secretiveness and rituals. In continue to fail to see the point in all of that - but to each their own I suppose.



I can honestly say much of what I learned in Masonry to me would be meaningless without me having witnessed the ritual previously. I can further add that every time I see the degrees performed I take additional lessons or meanings from them. Perhaps if I had only perused them online or in a library I might have been able to eventually interpet some sort of understanding of them but at what benefit?

To use your Karate analogy, would you benefit by studying this martial art singley or in a Dojo? I can practice my forms and katas at home but I take the greatest benefit from them by excercising their lessons in a group enviornment. Would you not agree?

[edit on 14-12-2007 by AugustusMasonicus]



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 10:31 AM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
AugustusMasonicus

fascinating..

It is a shame then that the connection is not open, perhaps if it where those that excel in Scouts would become Masons....



As Corsig might be able to attest to, here in New Jersey they are making a concerted effort to plan functions with and around the Scouts. I feel that this is of mutual benefit as those young men that participate in Boy Scouts would one day make excellent Masons as they have already hade many of our moral ideals instilled in them. It further benefits Masonry by allowing us to aid and assist this orginization and further spread the cement that binds all of us.



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