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VonNoble

Impact Of Holy Books & Writings

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I have read the Holy Bible (cover to cover) (yeah, I really did) more than once.

I have read most of the Torah.

I am reading the Qur'an ....slowly....as I have to use supplemental text to assist me

with understanding a good many terms i heretofore have never met.

I have read the Book of Mormon. My office shelves hold more than 200 books on

Buddhism and and least two dozen on Hinduism.

Over a number of years I have assembled a decent collection of sacred writings from

Native Americans, a handful of decent reference books on Wicca and also some hefty

volumes summarizing world religions.

In all of that reading (and btw, there are quite a few people on this Forum who have read

that many things and many, many more) (some in the original script).....so the point is not

that I am particularly well versed but rather that I am asking a question with no intent

to be flippant or shallow.

Have any of these works - or all of them for that matter -had much impact upon the behavior of mankind, the enrichment of society or the betterment of our world? I am looking for specific examples of how these works have markedly changed/improved humankind (if they have at all)

If they have not, I have to wonder why we revere them with such ferocity.

If they have - we should be able to cite examples thereof, no?

Von

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I, for one, believe that the Hindu writings have inspired great, wonderful art. In fact, much of the art inspired by any and all the religions you have sited is wonderful, if not great. Of course, one can surround oneself with great and wonderful art and be very appreciative toward it and still put a bullet in their brother's head for any number of reasons.

Edited by Brother Kaman

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Yes and no. You can grow a heart-shaped watermelon by confining it to a box, but it's still a watermelon.

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Von, I have a libray similar to yours. Like you I have read all the books in my library and some I have studied with great interest. Your question is a very profound one with no easy answer. Most of those books have influenced people around the world in their different religions in both a positive and negative way. Take for example Islam and the Qur'an. The Qur'an was not only a religious book, it was also the corner stone of a vast culture that at one moment reached southern Europe. What is interesting is that even though Islam and Christianity became bitter enemies through the centuries, it was in Islamic libraries that many of pre-Christian books of the Western classical past were preserved. The Qur'an at one moment was a source of education and culture inspiring poets and philosohers in both East and West.

It is not easy to judge those ancient books which to a certain point set the foundations of our World culture. Even though I am not a Christian, if I would refuse to read the Bible I would be turning my back on who I am as a western man. My Hispanic culture depends a lot on Christianity and the Bible. The Spanish language -- my maternal language -- was influenced not just by hispanic nuns, monks, and priests, but by the Muslims who controled Spain for some 800 years.

I am not offering you an answer. I am trying to briefly show that there is no easy answer for your question. It would take years of investigation and sharing of information to understand how those sacred volumes have influenced mankind. To be honest with you, I would really enjoy participating in such a task.

Hermano Luis

Moriviví Hermitage

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That's difficult. One the one hand, Brother Kaman is right; though religions have inspired some of our most beautiful art, it hasn't really stirred society to that same greatness.

The question at hand, really, is whether or not individuals are improved by religion, and yes, they are. For the most part. And if our politicians were improved by religion, then our society would improve as well, but they're not.

So, society CAN be improved by religion, but it WON'T be until we can stop using it as an excuse to hurt one another.

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I have read the Holy Bible (cover to cover) (yeah, I really did) more than once.

I have read most of the Torah.

Given that the Torah consists of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,and Deuteronomy it's hard to understand how you could have read the Bible cover to cover more than once, but only have read "most" of the Torah.

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Given that the Torah consists of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,and Deuteronomy it's hard to understand how you could have read the Bible cover to cover more than once, but only have read "most" of the Torah.

You made me chuckle......because it was some what repetitive to me at that point (my mid 40s) - I skipped over a few pages of the book so I didn't actually read every page. I didn't want to claim to have read every word of it - If I, in fact, didn't read every word ( I am very aware of the overlap of information in the two books)....

Thanks for the chance to clarify.

von

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i have read the bible cover to cover(and a couple different translations to boot.)i had the hardest time with the koran,and the vitas.while i have a nice library myself,it is not useful if not shared with others.that doesn't mean lending out books(unless you are giving them away)but sharing the knowledge you gain from them.

has society benifited in general from the books written by man?maybe,or not.

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If you want to talk art, look at the beautiful cathedrals, chapels, mosques, LDS temples, etc. If you want to see the profound impact, look at the lives of people that have been blessed. When you see a mother and father working out their differences, rather than taking the easy way our and divorcing, because they know that making it through the rocky times will make their love stronger - why do they do it? Many do this not for the kids alone but due to the lessons learned in their holy books. When you see people helping others because of the faith they have in their god(s), where did they faith come from? How did they know what to do? Many people, when asked, will quote their holy book(s) - even if it is just something that they heard someone else read or quote to them. Holy books are written by men. The cover page of the Book of Mormon reads, "And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ." I believe that we should read all holy book with this understanding, they all have been handed down orally, written and re-written, translated an re-translated. None of them are perfect. But we can still use them to help make ourselves perfect. It is only when we use them to condemn the imperfections of others that we miss use them and they harm the world.

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If you want to talk art, look at the beautiful cathedrals, chapels, mosques, LDS temples, etc. If you want to see the profound impact, look at the lives of people that have been blessed. When you see a mother and father working out their differences, rather than taking the easy way our and divorcing, because they know that making it through the rocky times will make their love stronger - why do they do it? Many do this not for the kids alone but due to the lessons learned in their holy books. When you see people helping others because of the faith they have in their god(s), where did they faith come from? How did they know what to do? Many people, when asked, will quote their holy book(s) - even if it is just something that they heard someone else read or quote to them. Holy books are written by men. The cover page of the Book of Mormon reads, "And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ." I believe that we should read all holy book with this understanding, they all have been handed down orally, written and re-written, translated an re-translated. None of them are perfect. But we can still use them to help make ourselves perfect. It is only when we use them to condemn the imperfections of others that we miss use them and they harm the world.

Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times YES. That's exactly what I've been saying. You are one smart cookie, Qwerty.

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I've been feeling a little punch-drunk of late.
I probably stayed too long in another thread, where it seemed that the majority felt the source of a message (or a holy book) was more important than the message itself. In other words, a message will always be important to the human race because it supposedly came from God or our Gods. It's a cause for concern to me, because it's next to impossible in this day and age to reach out to people much in the same way that the Bible, Veda, or Qu'ran had thousands of years ago.

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I think the reliance on the provenance of a message relieves one of the burden of actually understanding the message.

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I think the reliance on the provenance of a message relieves one of the burden of actually understanding the message.

Excuse me, but can you clarify?

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If I may, I think Pan means that most people simply read the Book, or other holy writing, solely to get some good quotes to justify how badly they handle things, instead of trying to understand the message as they're supposed to. Thus, do mostly to human nature and the need to justify one's own actions, the writings give those individuals an out, rather actually helping them as they should.

Thus, reliance on the provenance of a message relieves one of the burden of actually understanding the message.

If I'm wrong in my assessment, of course, I welcome the correction.

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If I may, I think Pan means that most people simply read the Book, or other holy writing, solely to get some good quotes to justify how badly they handle things, instead of trying to understand the message as they're supposed to. Thus, do mostly to human nature and the need to justify one's own actions, the writings give those individuals an out, rather actually helping them as they should.

Thus, reliance on the provenance of a message relieves one of the burden of actually understanding the message.

If I'm wrong in my assessment, of course, I welcome the correction.

I'm not sure, but either way that was still a good explanation.

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If I may, I think Pan means that most people simply read the Book, or other holy writing, solely to get some good quotes to justify how badly they handle things, instead of trying to understand the message as they're supposed to. Thus, do mostly to human nature and the need to justify one's own actions, the writings give those individuals an out, rather actually helping them as they should.

Thus, reliance on the provenance of a message relieves one of the burden of actually understanding the message.

If I'm wrong in my assessment, of course, I welcome the correction.

Close. Some are more concerned about proof that the message is authentic rather than the meaning of the message.

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Close. Some are more concerned about proof that the message is authentic rather than the meaning of the message.

You're correct.

The burden of proof can often be more important to some, which I also feel takes away from the message itself. I'd rather just assume that all messages are written by man, and marvel at our collective wisdom. If God was so intent on taking credit, he would have his own desk.

If we came from The Source, it stands to reason that all of our ideas have as well. I would think that should be enough.

Edited by scott_edward

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Close. Some are more concerned about proof that the message is authentic rather than the meaning of the message.

Ah, I'm not that far off then. Thanks for the clarification, Pan. I DID kinda concentrate on the abuses more than I probably should have, and thus, missed the WHOLE point, but I'm glad I wasn't far off.

You're correct.

The burden of proof can often be more important to some, which I also feel takes away from the message itself. I'd rather just assume that all messages are written by man, and marvel at our collective wisdom. If God was so intent on taking credit, he would have his own desk.

If we came from The Source, it stands to reason that all of our ideas have as well. I would think that should be enough.

Yes, I agree scott. Whole-heartedly.

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If you look at some of the foundations of our modern society, you'll find that many of them come from cultures that had spiritual practices without a focus on holy literature, and in some cases without any holy literature in written form. The Greeks before Christ, for example, had a vast collection of myths, maxims, and philosophical writings, but no unifying holy literature for the communal spiritual practices of each polis and surrounding area; and in many cases the theme of their cultic practices was quite different from the themes of the written myths. Certain adversarial relationships between deities that had been revealed in the myths were more like amicable partnerships in the actual worship, or figures that played only a minor role in myth could have had large public cults in reality, and so on.

Even those societies that had written material that we might call holy writings often didn't share the same kind of understanding about those writings that we commonly do today.

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