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When Did Religion Start?

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posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 12:58 PM

reply to post by WarminIndy

Rule-following is not TRULY discipline and self-control. It's merely rule-following.

Yes, rule following without the why serves no practical purpose.

I live in a building where we signed the lease determined by certain rules, one being no loud music after 9 PM and some people think it is unreasonable, but you would think grown ups would understand that our neighbors don't want to be bothered by music blasting from another apartment.

Another rule in my building is that we are not to let people we don't know in after dark, if we see them trying to get in. This is a secure building and one has to ring a buzzer to be let in after hours. But people get upset if we don't open the doors for them, because the doors are locked at 4 pm. They aren't locked to keep us in, but this is a secure building. Why don't grown people understand that security is the goal of the building and we are to help keep our neighbors safe?

It's more than just rules, it's what the rules represent.

Some of these grown up people just bug me, I don't want to hear their music and I don't want to feel unsafe. So isn't it a strange things for grown up to even have to be presented with rules? You would think they kind of would know why, but since they don't always, then it affects the rest of us.

posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 06:26 PM

reply to post by Pinke

Pinke, do you know that Nero married a man and that wouldn't you say it could be immoral to throw Christians to lions?

Romans believed marriage was for between heterosexual couples.

There are multiple written sources criticizing gay marriage and Roman law didn't officially recognize it. Nero was made quite some fun of over the matter. The Roman military also had policies forbidding such activity between soldiers. One of the punishments for violating this rule was being clubbed to death. This sounds all a bit like modern day America to me. Religion or not, America is going through a similar cycle just now and am not sure religion is the major driving factor.

As for the Christians and lions, in context this sounds somewhat familiar. There was a great fire in Rome, some believed Nero himself started it false flag style. It was blamed on the Christians, and they were (depending which historian you read) persecuted on these grounds.

Sounds a bit like 9/11 does it not? Wouldn't you say it could be immoral to throw a man to Seal Team 7 and drone strike all his friends without trial?

For a long time Christianity was just another monotheistic sect which was a threat to the empire. Your average Roman early on wouldn't know the difference between the Jewish and the Christians.

Rome wasn't exactly a nice place to be if you were not a Roman citizen. But as they were debating within themselves their own morality, why didn't the Romans not object to throwing Christians to lions?

The persecution of Christians is somewhat overblown, and also the context is somewhat blurred of forgotten about.

Some Romans actually believed Christians were cannibals due to some of their writings. Also, the anti Roman sentiment was acknowledged in the bible as well as the type of religious practice which was more private than Romans were used to. It's pretty obvious what this looks like but even then the major portions of Roman law advised not seeking Christians out and only responding to confessions or complaints. They didn't set up an inquisition (hint hint).

In this respect, to me it seems like Christianity has just been like any other faith historically but somewhat more aggressive. A fight to be understood, followed by anger at other belief systems, then a time of apology and 'peace', then allowing other faiths to coexist nearby thus slowly losing power. In three hundred years time we might very well be having this discussion about Scientology whilst looking over our shoulders going, and drone striking people! Doesn't sound very Scientologist!

Did you know that in Pergamos was the temple of Zeus that Adolph Hitler had torn down and rebuilt in Berlin and that platform we see him on, that is such a well-known image is that rebuilt temple?

I have tattoos of ancient religious icons. One of my friends fills their house with fertility statues and classical deities. We've only killed and persecuted a handful of people this year.

The interpretations of one looney person doesn't mean anything. If a person drowns their children in a bathtub whilst quoting bible scripture ... how many children do they have to drown before I can tell it as an interesting story about how Christianity is degenerate?

Polytheism has a rich and contextual history. *If* Hitler took something out of this seriously and wasn't just cashing in on symbolism then it may say more about Hitler than it does about Roman understanding of Polytheism.

I honestly don't perceive what separates Christianity from other religions. I think the major progress we've made has been through better communication and understanding, not because of religion or religious based morality.

posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 06:52 PM
reply to post by Pinke

No, it doesn't sound like 9/11 to me.

I don't think we should post all the references to gay sex in Rome..there's just way too much.Since I am such a nice person, and can't post links to the gay sex sites offering the information, we will just stick to Wikipedia for this one...
Homosexuality in Rome

Clubbing was reserved for men who took the female role, not the masculine role. And interesting, people go clubbing today for cruising.....well now.

It was very acceptable in the Roman Empire. But since we didn't want to have the dialogue saying those particular words, then it's hard to get around it if the post is supplying a reference and source for the point. But since the point has been raised....sorry for the imagery and pun, then let's explore this from a completely objective perspective. The question had been if it is good because culture says it is, or if it is good and that's why culture embraces it.

Now to transition to 2013 and bring the same question toward today's culture, does today's culture say something is good, or is it good for culture? As you indicated, you see no big difference from then to now, so the question is pertinent to a cultural standpoint.

And Christians being thrown to the lions was well after Nero, Domitian had more Christians tortured and killed. But if you notice, I am not saying this is a problem the pagans have been responsible for, no pagan today is Domitian, as no Christian today is Torquemada.

posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 11:51 PM

reply to post by Pinke

I don't think we should post all the references to gay sex in Rome..

Much of the discussion has been revolving around gay marriage and the example of Nero. Nero was actually accused of homosexuality by Tiberius in a letter to the senate allegedly, and this was taken seriously. (Tacitus from memory but check me)

Romans didn't really have a word for homosexuality so I guess we have to refer to it as the Roman interpretation of homosexual relations - I actually think we are both on the same page here so can leave that there.

Clubbing was reserved for men who took the female role, not the masculine role.

Was it?

Plutarch's biography on Gaius Marius tells of an incident where a commander was slain for making advances on a young legionary. The legionary that slew the commander was actually rewarded. In summary:

* I agree gay sex happened in Rome more so than today
* I disagree that gay marriage was deemed okay
* I agree regarding the attitudes towards gay sex and masculinity
* However, I think its important to note that laws were introduced to protect freemen from being considered effeminate via involuntary acts

Now to transition to 2013 and bring the same question toward today's culture, does today's culture say something is good, or is it good for culture? As you indicated, you see no big difference from then to now, so the question is pertinent to a cultural standpoint.

My answer depends how you are framing the question ...

I don't believe religion is entirely distinct or separate from culture. Religion is merely a vehicle for the exchange of information in my mind. My point regarding difference is all the major players are the same but we have much quicker methods of information dissemination now. I think that is far more relevant to moral change than religion is.

A lot of the base building blocks have always been there, we've just not always had the information or understanding to act on it. Men's understanding of women has been utterly woeful up until recently as a good example. Increased understanding and a widening circle of care makes better moral choices. Further to that, silly myths meet criticism head on now. We don't have to wait on a cultist getting an interview in the newspaper or yelling in the local forum to tell them they're wrong - now we just continue sipping a latte and post on a forum.

Culture is just an observation of status quo. It doesn't make decisions and the reason for those decisions can be multiple. Ancient breeding practices would be immoral today, for example, but conferred an advantage prior to more modern agriculture. Meanwhile, is software piracy a moral act? No, but it benefits large numbers of people.

Religion doesn't have a superior stance in this space because it's part of culture, but I would point out that this doesn't mean an instant descent into moral relativism either.

Can discuss history or anything else slightly off topic some more in another thread if you like? I don't mind, it's fun.

Do you think the thread is maybe getting too far from its original purpose?

posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 12:28 AM
reply to post by Pinke

You and I seem to be the only ones left on this thread anyway. It's all good and I think people understand what I was trying to pose.

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