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Babylon 5, Great Maker, and Religion

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    Spirit
    Confirmed User

  • Spirit
    replied
    Well, he has a point

    It's almost like to read a fable for its story line....

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  • xander
    Confirmed User

  • xander
    replied
    Amusing quote

    This is a quote from Pakuda's (an 11th century Jewish philosopher) Duties of the Heart. The context of passage was that he was trying to explain the many different people who read the Bible.

    "People who are able to read the texts and stories of the Scriptures and are satisfied with the literal sense, ignoring their deeper meaning and the precise explanation of the words and the use of language. These people are equal in stature to a donkey carrying books."

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  • bakana
    Confirmed User

  • bakana
    replied
    Well, for those who like to believe the Bible is the revealed word of God, check out what Jesus had to say about Hypocrites.
    (Replace scribes and Pharisees with Lawyers and Politicians and you see that This passage at least does seem to be universal.

    11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. Mt. 20.26, 27 À Mk. 9.35 ; 10.43, 44 À Lk. 22.26
    12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. Lk. 14.11 ; 18.14
    13 Â But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
    14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
    15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
    16 Â Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
    17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
    18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.
    19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
    20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
    21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.
    22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, Is. 66.1 À Mt. 5.34 and by him that sitteth thereon.
    23 Â Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, Lev. 27.30 and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
    24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
    25 Â Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
    26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
    27 Â Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, Acts 23.3 which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
    28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
    29 Â Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
    30 and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
    31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
    32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
    33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, Mt. 3.7 ; 12.34 À Lk. 3.7 how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
    34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
    35 that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel Gen. 4.8 unto the blood of Zechari'ah 2 Chr. 24.20, 21 son of Berechi'ah, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
    36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

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  • Spirit
    Confirmed User

  • Spirit
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan

    Seems like there ought to be a better way, huh?

    Jan
    Word is not perfect, but it is better than silence.
    When words are silent - fillings talk - and some times it is better no to hear what they have to say.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Spirit
    And by the way - no word can truly convey a value.

    Freedom - is a value. But when you say freedom - one see democracy - the other - anarchy. Do both of them convey the real meaning of freedom?
    Good points. And in a nutshell, that probably explains why there are multiple holy books and why the entire Bible isn't just those 10 commandments. But what other way is there for humans to communicate since telepathy isn't available to us? Throughout history people have been communicating values and illustrating them with parables and sermons and song and other means but in the end it's words being used.

    Seems like there ought to be a better way, huh?

    Jan

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  • Spirit
    Confirmed User

  • Spirit
    replied
    Hmmm... Well - it's an interesting question whether those values are "embeded" in some way into our universe.

    One thing that makes human uniqe - is the ability to overcome fillings by doing or not doing something. For example - not to enter the conflict even if you are angry (not every time it works ).

    The values I'm talking about prevent people from going after the pulse, after the filling. This phenomenon is not very natural.

    Maybe it's an education we get at the early stages of our life... But maybe it's something else...

    And by the way - no word can truly convey a value.

    Freedom - is a value. But when you say freedom - one see democracy - the other - anarchy. Do both of them convey the real meaning of freedom?

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Spirit
    Hmmm... Kosh would say You do not understand

    Did you know that there are at least 2 place in the OT with the 10 commandments - and they are a bit different in every place.
    Never try to read the OT as it is - word to word - but try to understand what does it want from us and who does it want us to be. Those 10 are old and unadequate with our world today. You are right - I'm not living by 10 commandments - but I live by their spirit, by the values that they convey.
    Which is part of my problem with them. If they don't suit, then they need to be replaced. Just as Jesus came along and said (paraphrasing-no disrespect intended) that the Old Law was out and he was there to give the new laws, so then should whichever church leaders there are now.

    Can you agree with me that most of the western countries cherish those values?
    Sorry, no. Actions speak louder than words. While the ideal might be spoken, the actions tell otherwise.

    Is there any western country that it is moral or legeal to kill or to steal today?
    By individuals or governments? Again, it's a matter of interpretation, isn't it?

    And why are those values are eternal, that they are the unspoken rules of the universe? Because I see them every where. (As I said - even in B5)
    Don't understand that at all. If a value is to be understood, doesn't it need to be put into words? Or are you saying that the universe itself holds those values.

    By the way - what about the 7 laws of Noah?
    Dunno. If I've ever heard of them I don't remember.

    Jan
    Last edited by Jan; 11-12-2004, 08:46 AM.

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  • Spirit
    Confirmed User

  • Spirit
    replied
    Originally posted by Capt.Montoya
    BTW, I saw a program on the History Channel, which mentioned that the Jewish council that decided which books were canonical rejected those books that had the mythology of angels some have mentioned.
    There exists too an interesting documentary on who wrote the Bible, it seems that most Bible scholars consider that the Pentateuch (first 5 books of OT) was written by at least two, maybe three different authors, none of which could have been Moses. This is why some of the stories are repeated in slightly different versions.
    Well - it's true. In Israel we learn at school about OT. But we do it from the side of science. Scientiests believe that the OT was written about 400 years after Moses by several people that lived in different times (hundreds years one from the other). As a pragmatic man and a man of science I do believe in that.

    But my other part stays with the story of Moses .

    And you are right - there was some council that decided for several centuries which books will be in and which will be out.

    Non the less - those books have some nice things in them.

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  • Capt.Montoya
    Ranger Captain

  • Capt.Montoya
    replied
    BTW, I saw a program on the History Channel, which mentioned that the Jewish council that decided which books were canonical rejected those books that had the mythology of angels some have mentioned.
    There exists too an interesting documentary on who wrote the Bible, it seems that most Bible scholars consider that the Pentateuch (first 5 books of OT) was written by at least two, maybe three different authors, none of which could have been Moses. This is why some of the stories are repeated in slightly different versions.

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  • Capt.Montoya
    Ranger Captain

  • Capt.Montoya
    replied
    On the tossing of books from the Bible, AFAIK it was a council of Church elders and scholars deciding on which books were canon and which apocriphal.
    Those that presented factual contradictions with each other or with the most accepted books, or showed a deviation from the doctrine were declared unworthy, the work of man, and not the inspired word of God.
    The books that talked about the childhood of Jesus are an example, they mentioned that he made miracles, but that contradicts the canonical story that he only started his ministry in the wedding of Canaan, at the urging of his mother.
    After the Refo:mation some protestant leaders reexamined some of those conclusions (IIRC some removed a book from the canon, others added one).

    There was an older similar process for the Old Testament.

    On the issue of translations: the Catholic Bibles I've seen all have footnotes which point out difficulties in translation and provide alternate interpretations when needed, even pointing out differing views when passages are not clear. They also provide notes that link together prophecies in the Old Testament to passages in the New Testament that are considered to be the fulfillment of them (and viceversa).
    A conscientious and thorough translation by Bible scholars need not be considered so unreliable. There have been many efforts to go back to the original sources when available to make sure that the translation is teh very best possible.
    Those being Catholic Bibles they also carry an imprimatur and nihil obstat (just like in medieval times) from a Cardinal (or Archbishop, can't remember) indicating that the version presented is consistent with the doctrine of the Church and can be considered reliable.

    With that said I most point out that I don't consider the Bible the exact word of God. It may have been inspired by him, but we mere humans can't pretend to understand or encompass the mind of God.
    The Bible may be the word of and all-knowing God but is the dumbed down version so we puny, non-all-mighty, humans can understand it.

    There are important principles there, but is not to be taken literally.

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  • Spirit
    Confirmed User

  • Spirit
    replied
    And another thing...
    There is an episode of B5 that stands for all that I believe in.

    It is from season 2 - ep. 21 - Comes The Inquisitor.

    I believe that it states that there is nothing valuable than life, and the only true reason to save a life shuold be the love of the life, the love for the other. (May be I'm wrong about the exact message...)

    Can someone remind us ?

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  • Spirit
    Confirmed User

  • Spirit
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan
    Regarding the 10 commandments:



    Sorry I totally disagree. A few of them might be good guidelines but several are simply immaterial *unless* you have faith in a diety (Commandments 1 thru 4 ) Number 5 is good advice assuming that the parents in question are worthy of that respect/honor. Number 6 is *way* too broad or, if it were to be taken literally, there sure wouldn't be many meat-eaters, would there? People who really took it literally wouldn't even kill plants. Number 7 might be good advice for the most part, but what if the other partners agreed? Number 8 is too broad, too, but not too objectionable. People seem to think that number 9 says that you shouldn't lie but that's not at all what it actually says. Number 10 tries not to be as broad as the others but falls the other way because the definition of 'neighbor' might be too narrowly defined.

    As I've said in other threads, there's only one sin in my universe and it really covers everything pretty well: Harming other people deliberately or through reckless negligence is a sin.

    Jan
    Hmmm... Kosh would say You do not understand

    Did you know that there are at least 2 place in the OT with the 10 commandments - and they are a bit different in every place.
    Never try to read the OT as it is - word to word - but try to understand what does it want from us and who does it want us to be. Those 10 are old and unadequate with our world today. You are right - I'm not living by 10 commandments - but I live by their spirit, by the values that they convey.

    Can you agree with me that most of the western countries cherish those values?
    Is there any western country that it is moral or legeal to kill or to steal today?

    And why are those values are eternal, that they are the unspoken rules of the universe? Because I see them every where.
    (As I said - even in B5)

    By the way - what about the 7 laws of Noah?
    Spirit
    Confirmed User
    Last edited by Spirit; 11-11-2004, 11:42 PM.

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  • Spirit
    Confirmed User

  • Spirit
    replied

    I think there was a misunderstanding here.
    I'm not saying that all 10 commandments are those principals...
    I was talking about the things that we can learn from the OT.

    And I'm not saying that the OT is the only source for thouse principals, hek - you can find those principal in every Babylon 5 book or movie

    I'm talking about values that will stay the same for ever - like human compassion.

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  • bakana
    Confirmed User

  • bakana
    replied
    Besides the religion OT and Bible contain the laws that western civilization stands on. We can find there an answer to the question "What is it to be a human?" - human compassion, life saving, social rightness and love of humanity - those are the principals we raise our children on. Every nation, every constitution adopted those principals. We find 10 commandments in every law book of every state.
    No it doesn't.

    Our legal codes owe a Lot more to the Code of Hammurabi (oldest written Legal Code on the planet) and the laws of the Roman Republic (Before Christianity) than it does to any book of the Christian bible.

    Code of Hammurabi

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  • Jan
    replied
    Regarding the 10 commandments:

    Originally posted by Spirit

    Faith is your choise, but those pricipals are not. Those are the unspoken rules of the universe. And by breaking those principals we sin - sin against each other - and against G-d.
    Sorry I totally disagree. A few of them might be good guidelines but several are simply immaterial *unless* you have faith in a diety (Commandments 1 thru 4 ) Number 5 is good advice assuming that the parents in question are worthy of that respect/honor. Number 6 is *way* too broad or, if it were to be taken literally, there sure wouldn't be many meat-eaters, would there? People who really took it literally wouldn't even kill plants. Number 7 might be good advice for the most part, but what if the other partners agreed? Number 8 is too broad, too, but not too objectionable. People seem to think that number 9 says that you shouldn't lie but that's not at all what it actually says. Number 10 tries not to be as broad as the others but falls the other way because the definition of 'neighbor' might be too narrowly defined.

    As I've said in other threads, there's only one sin in my universe and it really covers everything pretty well: Harming other people deliberately or through reckless negligence is a sin.

    Jan

    Leave a comment:

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