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Thread: God's attitude towards science and progress

  1. #316
    Over 2500 post club iouae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wick Stick View Post
    I don't read Ezekiel 1 that way. I view it as an apocryphon/apocalypse. That is to say, when Ezekiel describes things, I take those images as clues to be interpreted by finding similar language in earlier books. What is spoken, either by the author or angel, I take as literal, meant to be explanations of the images.


    In one sense, they are identical. But in another, fundamentally opposite. Having a hard time with yes/no, here. Let me try a parable instead.

    A man decides to build a house. He thinks long and hard about all the attributes that will be part of the house. Then he sits down, and he draws everything out. He has some skill, and he finishes creating a set of blueprints.

    Next he obtains material, and he builds his house. Since he is skilled, he creates a perfect rendering based on his ideas and blueprints.

    The relationship between the blueprints, and the actual house that was built, models the relationship between the spiritual and the physical. The man does not live in the blueprints as a stick figure on the page. He lives in the physical, material house. Yet the blueprints and plan precede the building. Without them, the house does not exist. Everything that is created is made out of material, but it is made according to a form, a plan, a thought.

    All of Creation has these two attributes - Form and Substance.

    Now, let's try to apply that to a man. We exist as minds within bodies. That the body is material seems evident. But the mind belongs to the other category - it exists as thoughts and plans. When a man dies, the body wastes away, and returns to dust. But the mind returns to abide within The Mind - that is, God.

    And I find in my Bible that God has promised us a resurrection - that is, new bodies, and I mean bodies of a material kind.

    That doesn't meant they are identical to the former bodies. Our bodies now do not take their form according to our plans and thoughts. They thrive or perish according to other factors - entropy and environs and our appetites. The new bodies are said to be pneumatikos - that is, they are driven perfectly by the mind that inhabits them. It is the difference between being a passenger in the car, and driving the car.

    Did that make any sense?
    It does. Thanks a lot for that.

    It sounds like spirit bodies will not be dragging us down and demanding our attention to maintain them. Our bodies now almost fight us, e.g. our appetites, and when we get sick.

    I have a feeling that this only scratches the surface, and that there is more to this.

    Also, we are given our high maintenance bodies, a world hard to live in, demon spirits around - all of these we have to fight.

    Our lives are given us to make a decision that we want God and eternal life, against all downward pulls. When we have fought this "gravity" pulling us down, and have exercised ourselves to make the right choices, God no longer needs to have us live with this downward pull.

    The created holy angels never had anything to fight from the start. And they succumbed to rebellion, not recognising a good thing when they saw it. We are approaching eternal life from the opposite side. We have always had to fight evil.

    Here is almost the purpose of life in one verse...
    Gen 4:7
    If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his[SIN'S] desire, and thou shalt rule over him[SIN].
    Stop the culling of Cape Town's baboons!

  2. #317
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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    I was doing research on the idea that the gods gave cultures like ancient Sumer their technology.
    All mainstream sources on ancient civilisations never say that the gods gave them their knowledge and science.

    All I could find are folks like Zecharia Sitchin who say so.
    This is what Wiki says of him.

    "Zechariah Sitchin was an Azerbaijani-born American author of books proposing an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts. Sitchin attributed the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the Anunnaki, which he stated was a race of extraterrestrials from a planet beyond Neptune called Nibiru"

    This reminds me of...
    "Erich Anton Paul von Däniken is a Swiss author of several books which make claims about extraterrestrial influences on early human culture, including the best -selling Chariots of the Gods?, published in 1968. Von Däniken is one of the main figures responsible for popularizing the "paleo-contact" and ancient astronauts "

    There is a fascination with the inexplicable technology of the ancients.
    It is such a pity that one has people like Sitchin and Von Däniken as the ones explaining these mysteries.

    Here is the main problem with ancient mythology. Try reading Greek, Roman or Sumerian mythology such as the Epic of Gilgamesh. The writers of these ancient myths WRITE THE BIGGEST LOAD OF NONSENSE.

    If one were to cull, from this nonsense, the theme that alien astronauts from the skies seeded humanity with knowledge, it is pure confirmation bias which energises these authors. Why do I say that?

    Reading the epic of Gilgamesh, and from my memory of ancient mythology, it's like reading Terry Pratchet's "Diskworld". It's fiction. It's made up.

    Every culture has its own mythology. And every culture tells a different story. Sure, they may have a flood myth mixed up in the story, but most mythology is gibberish. Because all mythology is different, if the gods gave them these stories, then the gods were liars.

    Demons are liars. I do believe primitive cultures are very in tune with demons. Shamans and mediums everywhere tell stories. And the stories are all different. Surely, in creation mythology, there should be a common story. All mankind had a common origin. Yet the creation mythology gives completely different stories.

    Thus I come away with complete frustration at mythology being able to add anything of value to science and technology origins. The Sumerians had very advanced technology, but my money is on it NOT coming from the gods. It's only recently that we have made technological progress, and that definitely did not come from "the gods". Primitive cultures throughout the world seem to have been held in the dark ages BY their gods.
    The "gods gave us technology" IS a theme in many myths. The Book of Enoch is foremost among them, although in this case it is the fallen angels. The Greek myth of Prometheus is another well-known myth on that theme.

    However, I do no remember anything like that in Babylonian myths. The axiom on which all of Babylonian mythology pivots is that "man was created to be a labor-saving device for the gods." Man serves the gods. Man worships the gods. That is his purpose.

    You can probably see that this is precisely the opposite lesson. The gods laboring to give rest? Not in Babylon.

    I know a Biblical scholar who holds that much of Genesis was written to be precisely the opposite of Babylonian religion. It's hard to argue the point. The conflict of Exodus happens because the Israelites are made to labor as slaves in Egypt. The 10 commandments specifically require one day of rest every seventh day. Even the NT reinforces this theme. "I will give you rest." "There remains a sabbath..." "Labor to enter His rest..."

    I find this works as a good litmus test of churches. Do they want me there to serve and to worship? It appears that I am in Babylon, metaphorically speaking.

    Or, are they there to give rest to the weary? This is true religion and undefiled, to look after orphans and widows in their distress.

  3. #318
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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    One hears about the similarities in the flood record between the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible.

    But here is what is written in the first of 11 tablets telling the epic. Ask yourself if you would trust this tablet to tell you anything meaningful either about science, or morals? Or is this epic just like modern fiction, intended to entertain?

    Tablet one[edit]
    The story introduces Gilgamesh, king of Uruk. Gilgamesh, two-thirds god and one-third man, is oppressing his people, who cry out to the gods for help. For the young women of Uruk this oppression takes the form of a droit du seigneur, or "lord's right", to sleep with brides on their wedding night. For the young men (the tablet is damaged at this point) it is conjectured that Gilgamesh exhausts them through games, tests of strength, or perhaps forced labour on building projects. The gods respond to the people's pleas by creating an equal to Gilgamesh who will be able to stop his oppression. This is the primitive man, Enkidu, who is covered in hair and lives in the wild with the animals. He is spotted by a trapper, whose livelihood is being ruined because Enkidu is uprooting his traps. The trapper tells the sun-god Shamash about the man, and it is arranged for Enkidu to be seduced by Shamhat, a temple prostitute, his first step towards being tamed. After six days and seven nights of continuous lovemaking she takes Enkidu to a shepherd's camp to learn how to be civilized. Gilgamesh, meanwhile, has been having dreams about the imminent arrival of a beloved new companion."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgamesh
    Myths are written to have layers of meaning, which often are not captured in translations. Take note of the fact that this Epic was written in one of the first languages, and words simply didn't exist for things that were abstract. Instead, if one wanted to talk about... anger, desire, love, jealousy... they created a character (usually a "god") in the story which was an essence of that trait.

    The tale of Gilgamesh and Enkidu is meant to be a tutor about desire and ambition, both the positives and negatives.

    Note also that, in Semitic languages in particular, words often have multiple meanings, and the use of a certain word or phrase can mean several different things. Translations to other languages invariably fall short in this regard, since the translator can only give one of those meanings.

    Strip the story of it significations, and double entendres, and you're left with a bland-ish fairy tale.

  4. #319
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wick Stick View Post
    The "gods gave us technology" IS a theme in many myths. The Book of Enoch is foremost among them, although in this case it is the fallen angels. The Greek myth of Prometheus is another well-known myth on that theme.

    However, I do no remember anything like that in Babylonian myths. The axiom on which all of Babylonian mythology pivots is that "man was created to be a labor-saving device for the gods." Man serves the gods. Man worships the gods. That is his purpose.

    You can probably see that this is precisely the opposite lesson. The gods laboring to give rest? Not in Babylon.

    I know a Biblical scholar who holds that much of Genesis was written to be precisely the opposite of Babylonian religion. It's hard to argue the point. The conflict of Exodus happens because the Israelites are made to labor as slaves in Egypt. The 10 commandments specifically require one day of rest every seventh day. Even the NT reinforces this theme. "I will give you rest." "There remains a sabbath..." "Labor to enter His rest..."

    I find this works as a good litmus test of churches. Do they want me there to serve and to worship? It appears that I am in Babylon, metaphorically speaking.

    Or, are they there to give rest to the weary? This is true religion and undefiled, to look after orphans and widows in their distress.
    The character of demons is that they are selfish, self serving, possessive, wanting worship, etc.

    Each country and culture has a religion founded on that you try's demon or demons. And each culture has a "spirit" or feel to it which to a large extent comes from what that demon demands. I understand that the demon is there to be appeased.

    And the demons do have little magic tricks or secret knowledge which they can give that culture - but the overall effect on the culture is not benefitted by worshipping a false god. I am a total believer in false gods - they are fallen angels. Folks worshipped these fallen angels. Historians dismiss these "gods" as myth. But they existed and influenced the culture just as voodoo influences Haiti's character today.

    Thus the true God's religion would reflect the true God's character, which is that the Greatest - God Almighty - is the greatest servant.
    Stop the culling of Cape Town's baboons!

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