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Simtropolis Religion Thread

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Welcome to the Simtropolis House of Worship, Take 2.

The original thread was so popular it became so long that it was taking forever to load.  It is locked here, in case anyone wishes to quote from a post in that thread.

Remember, this thread is for discussion of any form of religion or worship. 

Other threads that deal with subtopics in more detail:

Creationism vs. Evolution

The Definition of "Christian"

Shalom! Calling all Jewish Simtropolnites!

Why Does Secularism Hate Theocracy?

Simtropolis Official Discussion of Cosmology

Free Will vs. Determinism

Existence of God

Remember:  discuss the issues, not each other.

Edit:  thanks to all who helped locate additional threads  44.gif

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Meg    363
  • Original Poster
  • See, this is why I didn't do this before; I couldn't get all of the threads together.   3.gif

    I imagine there are still a few more out there.   Thank you for helping me reel them in.

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    The creator of the universe works in mysterious ways.  My steak is ready, my asparagus is ready, I've been steaming the little red potatoes for 20 minutes and they are still as hard as rocks.  Oh Lord, if there is one, please arrange to cook my potatoes, I am famished.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the food is in the oven at low temperature, and I hope it isn't cooking any more.

    Considering all that has gone before in the previous testament, can we now agree that a person's beliefs and activities in that regard are personal, and no one should interfere with them?

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    The Lord will provide.  The spuds were edible, if al dente.  For this, and the other things that we ate, we give thanks to the Lord, if necessary.  If you slather enough sour cream on barely cooked spuds, you can eat them anyway.  These are mini-potatoes, most less than an inch in diameter.  The filet was à point, and the asperagus was just nicely cooked and crunchy.  If I had had more time and it was less hot in here, I might have gone all the way for a full-scale Chateaubriand Bouquetère.  You can see that I do eat meat on Friday now. (Vatican II).

    Who in this group, besides me, has read the mostly-historical book by Samuel Langhorn Clemens titled "The Trial of Joan of Arc"?  Basically, the author took the transcript and wrote a narrative around it to make it seem more human.  Trial transcripts are as dull as sawdust.

    There are several good theological points in this book.  The most important one is that we can't know the will of "God".  Cauchon spent a lot of time trying to trip Joan into saying something that could be construed as heresy by bringing up esoteric arguments that a French peasant girl could not possibly understand.  She beat him, every time.  So who can say whether her "voices" were real or not.  The Church rehabilitated her and prclaimed her a Saint a few years back.  I wonder if they revoked Cauchon's pass to heaven (he certainly shouldn't have had one).

    I bring up St. Joan because I want to discuss the idea of saints.  One impression I got as a kid was if you went to heaven, you are a saint, automatically, no matter what the Peter placeholder has to say about it.

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    Originally posted by: A Nonny Moose

    I bring up St. Joan because I want to discuss the idea of saints.  One impression I got as a kid was if you went to heaven, you are a saint, automatically, no matter what the Peter placeholder has to say about it.

    quote>

    I thought they had to have two miracles to their name. Mary McKillop for example was canonised only recently but the process was apparently started in 1926. As I understand it Rome had to deliberate over whether her second miracle was proven or something like that.

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    According to official doctrine, the Vatican does not, technically, make people saints. People are sainted by God; all the Vatican can do is state that they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that God has sainted a given person (hence the two miracles deal). And they can't do that in every case, so there are "unknown saints".

    As for the whole praying to saints thing... strictly speaking, you're supposed to ask the saints to pray to God on your behalf the same way you might ask your friends or family to pray on your behalf - not pray to the saints themselves (that would be idolatry). This distinction is lost on a lot of people, though... including many Catholics themselves. So it's easy to see how it becomes a common criticism of Catholicism.

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    Yes, a lot of the l.o.l.'s who go to church make this mistake.  Since it is only a mistake, no guilt accrues to them, I expect.  If you listen to the Litany of the Saints, the chant invokes the saint and asks for intercession by prayer. 

    I liked it better in Latin because it had a nice rhythm, especially when chanted by the group of Carmelite Brothers and Priests I grew up with.  I lived in a parish that was looked after by them, and there was a Carmelite seminary there, overlooking Niagara Falls.  I was in the public school so got to attend summer school at the monastery.  Very impressive, and that's how I found out I didn't have a vocation to the priesthood.  Once you hit high-school these guys were a revelation.  They went into theology with no punches pulled.  Almost as much fun as a group of Jesuits.  While you were still in elemenary school, the summer school was run by a convent of nuns that was colocated on the same campus.  Strange that I can't remember off the top of my head what their order was.  They were not Carmelites. 

    My aunt was a member of the Sisters of Service, and became a nurse practitioner in the logging camps north of Edson Alberta.  Born in 1900, she was the eldest of seven sisters and the only one that was very religious at all.  When she retired to the Mother House in Toronto, I used to go visit her and have cookies and tea.  She was a grand lady, and had some very interesting stories about the logging camps.  I often wondered if she kept a diary, but such would be privy to the order.

    You know, if it hadn't been for Vatican II, and some  incidents with some bishops in the Toronto Archdiocese, I would probably still be a practicing Catholic.  However, I have no regrets.

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    Is a potato really worthy of our worship? The idea of worshiping a potato is laughable. Don't expect me to come on board.I love potatos, but seriously, they grow and the spoil in a year's time. They are just potatos.

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    Meg    363
  • Original Poster
  • Originally posted by: blakesterville

    Is a potato really worthy of our worship? The idea of worshiping a potato is laughable. Don't expect me to come on board.I love potatos, but seriously, they grow and the spoil in a year's time. They are just potatos. quote>

    Well, that was random . . .

    okay, let's talk about worship.    What is worship anyway?  

    Is it something that an external entity needs from us? 

    or is it something people have an internal need to do?

    I've always seen the need to be worshipped as a sign of emotional immaturity and insecurity.    I've just never bought into the concept that God needs us to stroke his ego.

    People, on the other hand, do have a need to be connected with something larger than themselves.  It doesn't have to be a religious something but somewhere in the human psyche there seems to be a need to know where we fit into the overall scheme of things.

    As Voltaire says, if God didn't exist it would be necessary to invent him.  But that discussion belongs over in the Existence of God thread so let's get back to worship.

    What is the purpose of worship?

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    Originally posted by: Meg

    Originally posted by: blakesterville

    Is a potato really worthy of our worship? The idea of worshiping a potato is laughable. Don't expect me to come on board.I love potatos, but seriously, they grow and the spoil in a year's time. They are just potatos. quote>

    Well, that was random . . .

    okay, let's talk about worship.    What is worship anyway?  

    Is it something that an external entity needs from us?  quote>

    That the basic premis of  book called American Gods by Neil Gamien

    And im sure hes not the first one to  come up with the idea.

    That Gods need our worship to even exist. Been to any services for Odin lately?

    History is full of historical pantheons and myths of peoples gods who are no longer worshiped. Greek, Roman, Eqyptian, Myan ect.

    I have always had a problem with the current relgions   proclaiming  they are the only true faith. Every one else are either heathens/ pagens barbarians or what ever? Realy barbarians built the temples in greece,Eqypt, central America?

    People use to look at me like i was insane when i pointed out these people  belived just a devoutly in thier gods

    as Christians and other religions do today.

     

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    Well, if you believe someone or something is all-powerful, it would seem only natural to worship them/it. This is, however, a decidedly human thing.... for god to demand worship would thus, yes, be a seemingly human character flaw on his part. Which would mean he's not perfect.

    Then again, it's not particularly difficult to think of an apologetic argument to dismiss this problem. "It only appears as a flaw to us because we're imperfect and can't understand it." "God is all-powerful, so him demanding worship is not a character flaw, it's appropriate."

    It's another one of those differing point of view things.

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    The point about worshipping anything is that you are afraid of it.  You think it cares what you do, and will punish you if you break its rules.  But how do you know what the rules are?  You can only find out by breaking them and being punished and admonished to "Don't do that again."

    I have a feeling that if Moses existed at all, he found those tablets on the mountain.  They are a legacy of an older civilization, and he was lucky to be able to read them at all.  He sure made up a doozy of a story to account for them, so there must have been a cave full of treasure there too.  So he scares everyone, so that they won't go looking up the mountain as well.

    Now the Bible says that Moses cast the tablets at the golden calf, and that they were destroyed along with the idol.  So what was in the Arc of the Covenant?  Whatever it was, it was hot enough to kill you if you touched it instead of using the carry poles.  I suspect some advanced civilization's artifacts with the repel and destroy setting working.

    So getting back to worship.  If an entity is advanced enough to be beyond our understanding, why would it want to be "worshipped"?  Is it like the Ori in Stargate SG1 who derive power from being worshipped?  If so, it is a parasite.  Doesn't seem to be in the book for such a thing.  It isn't ethical by our standards.

    I think I stick to the agnostic prayer:  "O God, if there is one, save my soul, if I have one."

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    Originally posted by: blakesterville

    A Nonny Noose: Define worship.quote>

    The common definition will do for me.

    Or "Bow down before me because I am more powerful than you."

    You can't worship what you don't believe in or respect.  Worship is an act of fear!

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    Can you think of something worthy of worship more than the creator of the universe? I can't. That's one reason to worship God. 

    It is true that if you don't believe in God, you couldn't worship Him.

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    Well, I do admit I interact with potatoes far more often with a god, and plus potatoes are so much more tasty. Especially when topped with sour cream, cheese, green onion, and bacon.

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    Meg    363
  • Original Poster
  • Originally posted by: blakesterville

    Can you think of something worthy of worship more than the creator of the universe? I can't. That's one reason to worship God.quote>

    The question is, why worship at all?   Using your understanding of what God is, why would God need worship?   What is the purpose of worship?

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    Originally posted by: Meg

    Originally posted by: blakesterville

    Can you think of something worthy of worship more than the creator of the universe? I can't. That's one reason to worship God.quote>

    The question is, why worship at all?   Using your understanding of what God is, why would God need worship?   What is the purpose of worship?

    quote>

    Meg makes good points.  If there is a god, creator of the universe, etc, etc.  Why would it want any being to worship it?  And if it happened to notice that you were doing this, might it not be offended?

    People choose to worship out of awe, which is a manifestation of fear, or out of social pressure from those in that position.  Why bother?

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    Coincidentally, I'm just now reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

    The explaination stated in the book is that gods need worship to stay alive. Without anyone worshipping them, they are essentially dead, and once forgotten, they are gone forever.

    Can you think of something worthy of worship more than the creator of the universe? I can't. That's one reason to worship God. quote>

    That's also a reason to worship (very partial list):

    Hymie/Odin

    Arceus

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Vishnu

    That one Lotus flower

    Zeus

    Set (or whoever created the world in the Egypthian pantheon)

    And countless other deities, most of them forgotten.

    By the way, we have no conclusive proof that either of these (including the Abrahamic JHVH/Elohim/Allah) actually created the universe. If I were to choose one, it would be Pastafarianism. A religion where having fun is sacred, why would I choose the ones who tells me to sit down and pray all Saturday long?

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    Originally posted by: A Nonny Moose

    Worship is an act of fear!quote>

    Not necessarily.  Many people worship in happiness and joy.

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    Originally posted by: Cobraroll

    Coincidentally, I'm just now reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

    The explaination stated in the book is that gods need worship to stay alive. Without anyone worshipping them, they are essentially dead, and once forgotten, they are gone forever. quote>

    That's rather interesting - this seems to be a reasonably common thought. Gilbert and Sullivan's Thespis, or, The Gods Grown Old and whenever the gods are a large part of the plot in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels (such as Small Gods) spring to mind.

    I'm partially fond of Anoia, Goddess of Things That Get Stuck in Drawers.

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    Originally posted by: hym

    Originally posted by: A Nonny Moose

    Worship is an act of fear!quote>

    Not necessarily.  Many people worship in happiness and joy.

    quote>

    Only the pre-conditioned faithful.

    This is the other can of worms: Faith.  It goes along with Hope (for the afterlife).

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    To be honest, my understanding of God isn't great enough for me to explain why He would want to be worshiped, but I know this isn't unreasonable of God to want to be worshiped, considering He created me, everyone else, and the entire universe, and He knows everything. Considering this, what is really unreasonable is not worshiping God.

    Not that worship of God is about me, because it isn't, but it works out better for me anyway to worhship God.

    Also, another note. How can someone not worship anything? You know, it is possible for us to worship ourselves.

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    Originally posted by: blakesterville

    To be honest, my understanding of God isn't great enough for me to explain why He would want to be worshiped, but I know this isn't unreasonable of God to want to be worshiped, considering He created me, everyone else, and the entire universe, and He knows everything. Considering this, what is really unreasonable is not worshiping God.

    Not that worship of God is about me, because it isn't, but it works out better for me anyway to worhship God.

    Also, another note. How can someone not worship anything? You know, it is possible for us to worship ourselves.

    quote>

    In your first paragraph, if you believe in God, you are very near if not at the point of committing the Sin of Presumption.  This kind of talk would have gotten Joan of Arc burned at the stake.  You cannot know the mind of God because he is beyond your understanding.

    If you want to worship, go ahead.  No one is suggesting you can't.  Just don't insist that I do.

    As for worshiping nothing, why not.  What is worship, anyway?  How do you pray to something you don't believe in.  Faith is required in order to worship.  I have faith that I want another drink.

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    Originally posted by: A Nonny Moose

    Only the pre-conditioned faithful.quote>

    This is again incorrect.

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    Originally posted by: hym

    Originally posted by: A Nonny Moose

    Only the pre-conditioned faithful.quote>

    This is again incorrect.

    quote>

    Perhaps you would like to elaborate your position.  The faithful are all preconditioned.  Faith is passed on, and not a natural state.  In order to have faith in something, it has to be communicated.  Since there is no "higher power" to communicate this, it has to come from a person or persons.

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    Meg    363
  • Original Poster
  • Originally posted by: A Nonny Moose

    The faithful are all preconditioned.  Faith is passed on, and not a natural state.  In order to have faith in something, it has to be communicated.  Since there is no "higher power" to communicate this, it has to come from a person or persons.quote>

    I agree that many faithful are preconditioned and faith can be passed on but that isn't the only way to obtain it.  

    I have beliefs that would have to be called faith because I can not prove them.   They have been with me since childhood.  But they are not something that my family, friends, or culture in general have taught me.  Short version:  I am an American who holds beliefs that are common in Eastern philosophies and religions.

    So where did that come from? 

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