Recommended Posts

It has been a point of curiosity to me for more than (50) years....

so a half century of observation on this point.

 

Each religion that attaches "a holy book" as THE ANSWER (the

one, true and ONLY answer) - ends up by followers being NOT

being able to agree on the meaning, rules and adherence. 

 

That is JUST my observation.    Catholics come in more than one

version (Roman, Orthodox and other).....Jews have a range

from ultra conservative to more "progressive" - as do Muslims, 

Buddhists and Hindus.  

 

Another big curiosity is when I ask someone schooling me if 

THEY read the book in question - RARELY have they.  I mean

it is VERY rare that they have read the book in question.   That always

puzzles me.   If you haven't read it yourself and come to believe it 

on your own....then are you not relying on what someone taught you

rather than what you KNOW to be true by working your way through

it?

 

Do the religions that branch off from using the holy reference

book or guide book - fair better over time (such as those that

rely on oral tradition instead of a text?)  

 

von

Share this post


Link to post
41 minutes ago, VonNoble said:

If you haven't read it yourself and come to believe it 

on your own....then are you not relying on what someone taught you

rather than what you KNOW to be true by working your way through

it?

Wouldn't that be the case if you <b>had</b> read it yourself? The whole point of the book is to provide an authority. The whole point of going to an authority is so you don't have to figure things out for yourself. Or am I missing part of the equation?

 

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
25 minutes ago, mererdog said:

Wouldn't that be the case if you <b>had</b> read it yourself? The whole point of the book is to provide an authority. The whole point of going to an authority is so you don't have to figure things out for yourself. Or am I missing part of the equation?

 

I am not sure that it was necessarily intended that way. 

 

When I am sitting with tribal members in a tribe in South Dakota...I can see that they can tell the story

of their people back more than seven generations.  The oral traditions of their beliefs come forward

in contemporary language.  The speaker knows the audience and can emphasis parts of the story (or

play down parts) pending on what the audience needs to hear TODAY that is relevant.  The written

and UNALTERABLE word does not allow flexibility. 

 

Specifically to the book can also be offered as a fable or a general guide. 

It can be the authority that needs a supplement occasionally as society evolves.

The core beliefs might not shift much but that is not wherein lies the breeding ground of contention.

 

Additionally, if you do not absorb the lessons through your own though and process you are

destined to learn ONLY WHAT the teacher offers.  I am not sure that is what the original writers 

intended.  Perhaps they intended for each to read and absorb it on their own.   They did not start

out with written documents.  ALL OF THEM started out with oral traditions. 

 

So the authority thing....may be an unintended by product?  Or maybe I just don't know enough.

Observations alone don't tell the whole story either. 

 

von

 

 

i

Share this post


Link to post

As a former Druid, I would say that oral traditions probably hold up better.  Just as a casual observation, of course.  You don't have as much fighting about the specific wording of something.  If someone argues that a piece of the religion sounds wrong, why...just change it.  And with oral traditions, that's a lot easier.  There aren't those pesky copies of books out there to contradict what you have said.

Edited by cuchulain

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, VonNoble said:

I am not sure that it was necessarily intended that way. 

It was. The people who put It together were fairly open about it. The book is a separate and distinct thing from the pieces used to build it. The reasons for making a brick don't tell you the reasons for building a house, eh?

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
47 minutes ago, mererdog said:

It was. The people who put It together were fairly open about it. The book is a separate and distinct thing from the pieces used to build it. The reasons for making a brick don't tell you the reasons for building a house, eh?

 

Clever analogy.   ;)

 

Did you ever see the poster where the railroad tracks were built from two directions and

didn't quite match up.    Sometimes the workers don't follow the blueprints. 

 

Still you make a good point. 

 

Your analogy works better for some religions rather than others. 

The religions that might dampen the analogy are not monotheistic however. 

 

So I guess you have a point re: the brick building.  A point I rather enjoyed.

 

von

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, VonNoble said:

It has been a point of curiosity to me for more than (50) years....

so a half century of observation on this point.

 

Each religion that attaches "a holy book" as THE ANSWER (the

one, true and ONLY answer) - ends up by followers being NOT

being able to agree on the meaning, rules and adherence. 

 

That is JUST my observation.    Catholics come in more than one

version (Roman, Orthodox and other).....Jews have a range

from ultra conservative to more "progressive" - as do Muslims, 

Buddhists and Hindus.  

 

Another big curiosity is when I ask someone schooling me if 

THEY read the book in question - RARELY have they.  I mean

it is VERY rare that they have read the book in question.   That always

puzzles me.   If you haven't read it yourself and come to believe it 

on your own....then are you not relying on what someone taught you

rather than what you KNOW to be true by working your way through

it?

 

Do the religions that branch off from using the holy reference

book or guide book - fair better over time (such as those that

rely on oral tradition instead of a text?)  

 

von

 

 

The core of the Hebrew Scriptures is the first five "Books of Mosses".  I would like to focus on the third.  The Book of Leviticus.  In other words, the Levitican priesthood.  

 

In Leviticus, there are extensive rules for the selection of sacrificial animals.  More rules for how the animals are to be killed and then cooked.  Who eats the sacrifice?  The priests.  In a society where meat is hard to come by, the priests eat well.

 

There are other rules for grain sacrifice.  How the grains are selected.  How they are cooked.  Who gets to eat the grain sacrifice.  Again, the priests.  The priests eat well.  Among other things, Leviticus is a cook book.

 

What are the other things we know about the priesthood?  Being a farmer is a lot more work.  Very hard, tedious work, with long hours.  Being a soldier in the army is way more dangerous.  Some things don't change.  Soldiers have always been "grunts".  It's good to be a priest.

 

Since I lack piety, I have my own take on all this.  The function of the Levitican priesthood, is to give the priests a better life than anybody else.  In the Catholic Church and various Protestant denominations -- that tradition is alive and well.  I think it also holds true for much of Islam.

 

Note please.  I am being careful not to say "religion."  It does no good to over generalize.  

 

:mellow:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, VonNoble said:

Did you ever see the poster where the railroad tracks were built from two directions and

didn't quite match up.    Sometimes the workers don't follow the blueprints. 

I haven't seen the poster. I did work enough construction as a yoot to see similar things hapoen, though. It was amazing how often plumbers and architects would seem about to come to blows. I only ever worked for the one contractor, and I've never asked anyone with broader experience whether its a common thing. Now I'm curious. First thing in the morning seems an appropriate time for that, so thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/6/2017 at 6:47 AM, mererdog said:

It was amazing how often plumbers and architects would seem about to come to blows. I only ever worked for the one contractor, and I've never asked anyone with broader experience whether its a common thing. Now I'm curious.

 

It's a frequent bugbear that appears in every corner of human society -  too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

Share this post


Link to post

And sometimes, the blueprint is at fault.  Sometimes that one chief just gets the directions wrong, and everyone follows them accurately.

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/5/2017 at 10:09 AM, VonNoble said:

It has been a point of curiosity to me for more than (50) years....

so a half century of observation on this point.

 

Each religion that attaches "a holy book" as THE ANSWER (the

one, true and ONLY answer) - ends up by followers being NOT

being able to agree on the meaning, rules and adherence. 

 

That is JUST my observation.    Catholics come in more than one

version (Roman, Orthodox and other).....Jews have a range

from ultra conservative to more "progressive" - as do Muslims, 

Buddhists and Hindus.  

 

Another big curiosity is when I ask someone schooling me if 

THEY read the book in question - RARELY have they.  I mean

it is VERY rare that they have read the book in question.   That always

puzzles me.   If you haven't read it yourself and come to believe it 

on your own....then are you not relying on what someone taught you

rather than what you KNOW to be true by working your way through

it?

 

Do the religions that branch off from using the holy reference

book or guide book - fair better over time (such as those that

rely on oral tradition instead of a text?)  

 

von

 

The problem is that if all you have is oral tradition, etc. Then what you have evolves over time in such a way that nobody consciously knows that it has evolved. That is because it is human nature to insert one's own opinions into a subject matter when giving oral discourse, without even realizing they've even done it. It's the basic concept of the "telephone game". Therefore, in such a case, there is really no "religion" by definition of terminology, because of the fact that there is not a set "belief system" because things are changing from one generation to the next to the point to where things become to fluid to constitute a religion proper, by strict dictionary definition of "religion".

 

However, we also note that the Koran is remarkably similar in at least some ways to it's contemporary Jewish religious literature. Therefore,  it stands by basic reasoning, that since we can predate the Jews to Mohamed, that at least statistically speaking, Mohamed most likely ripped of the broad concept and went from there, if we are to hold that he didn't plagiarize the Koran outright.

 

The thing is that where people disagree on "interpretation" of a written text, it becomes that in the religious context, we have "rules for interpretation" called hermenutics. Its not so much people haven't read the text, say per, its the fact that they haven't been educated in the ground rules for proper interpretation of that text. It's the same as if I were to give you a copy of the Untied States Code, and then tell you to go practice law without giving you any education as to what the confines of the interpretation of the text are, and what the ground rules of that interpretation are in terms of broad principle. You'd most likely  be lost, or else extremely gifted in ways that the majority of people just aren't. We must remember that Christianity in particular, roots in a concept of a given law. Thus, it becomes that we are doing a "legal analysis" of a sort. Thus the disciplines of Philosophy and analytic reasoning come into play, while considering the historical implications of a given text, as NOTHING happens in a vacuum.

 

That is the problem today- too many people are not capable of doing their own research because either they aren't empowered with the proper skills necessary to do it, or else they are too lazy to do it. After all, ignorance is the default state of mankind, and learning means doing work of some kind or another.

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/11/2017 at 4:53 PM, Kingfisher said:

 

It's a frequent bugbear that appears in every corner of human society -  too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

 

 

If God, the perfect mind, were behind Scripture -- any Scripture -- it would be perfect Scripture.  Any one who read it, would have perfect understanding.  I don't have anything resembling a perfect mind, so I can't imagine how this would be done.  God would know how to do it.

 

On the other hand, if all Scripture had Human origins, with all the imperfection that implies -- how would the world of religion look?  It would look the way it does.  Divisive, fractious, and chaotic -- with all the nasty bits of the Human mind projected onto God.  

 

Now a simple look at the claims of Genesis.  God created the "world" -- and the rest of everything -- the entire Universe -- 

in six days.  Really?  God did the entire  Universe in six days -- and needed Human scribes?  The All Powerful couldn't self publish the perfect Book?  He needed Human scribes?  Better yet.  We couldn't all be born knowing the contents?

 

And eternal damnation if we believe the wrong Book?

 

:rolleyes:          :sigh:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, ULCneo said:

 

The problem is that if all you have is oral tradition, etc. Then what you have evolves over time in such a way that nobody consciously knows that it has evolved. That is because it is human nature to insert one's own opinions into a subject matter when giving oral discourse, without even realizing they've even done it. It's the basic concept of the "telephone game". Therefore, in such a case, there is really no "religion" by definition of terminology, because of the fact that there is not a set "belief system" because things are changing from one generation to the next to the point to where things become to fluid to constitute a religion proper, by strict dictionary definition of "religion".

 

However, we also note that the Koran is remarkably similar in at least some ways to it's contemporary Jewish religious literature. Therefore,  it stands by basic reasoning, that since we can predate the Jews to Mohamed, that at least statistically speaking, Mohamed most likely ripped of the broad concept and went from there, if we are to hold that he didn't plagiarize the Koran outright.

 

The thing is that where people disagree on "interpretation" of a written text, it becomes that in the religious context, we have "rules for interpretation" called hermenutics. Its not so much people haven't read the text, say per, its the fact that they haven't been educated in the ground rules for proper interpretation of that text. It's the same as if I were to give you a copy of the Untied States Code, and then tell you to go practice law without giving you any education as to what the confines of the interpretation of the text are, and what the ground rules of that interpretation are in terms of broad principle. You'd most likely  be lost, or else extremely gifted in ways that the majority of people just aren't. We must remember that Christianity in particular, roots in a concept of a given law. Thus, it becomes that we are doing a "legal analysis" of a sort. Thus the disciplines of Philosophy and analytic reasoning come into play, while considering the historical implications of a given text, as NOTHING happens in a vacuum.

 

That is the problem today- too many people are not capable of doing their own research because either they aren't empowered with the proper skills necessary to do it, or else they are too lazy to do it. After all, ignorance is the default state of mankind, and learning means doing work of some kind or another.

Written is not immune to change.  Some call it scribal error, some admit that it amounts to change. 

My favorite example of late, 1 Corinthians 13 13(kjv):  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Or, 1 Corinthians 13 13(niv):  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

Charity with Love.  There is a significant difference, both in interpretation and literal meaning.  And, it's a written difference.  Now, a person could claim to follow the original manuscripts of the bible, having painstakingly gone through the effort of learning the original language, idiom, context of the times, and so forth...except...all that survives, are copies of copies.  SO much for accountability.

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, ULCneo said:

 

The problem is that if all you have is oral tradition, etc. Then what you have evolves over time in such a way that nobody consciously knows that it has evolved. 

 

 

Or perhaps it is good that it is allowed to evolve.....

von

Share this post


Link to post
17 hours ago, cuchulain said:

I am beginning to think we fell for Trolling again...

;) i Thad to look up what "Trolling" means

-perhaps U R correct :mellow:

von 

Share this post


Link to post
On 10/8/2017 at 12:10 AM, VonNoble said:

 

On 10/7/2017 at 3:34 PM, ULCneo said:

 

The problem is that if all you have is oral tradition, etc. Then what you have evolves over time in such a way that nobody consciously knows that it has evolved. 

 

 

Or perhaps it is good that it is allowed to evolve.....

von

 

Perhaps, but it also leaves a lot of room for misunderstandings, lies and assumptions to be added... infiltration from those purposefully trying to make a tradition seem less or worse than it was. And then you have those who can't seem to grasp things in the truer, deeper meaning for one reason or another and completely misconstrues things, or leaves important things out.  Without something written to refer back to, well... you can easily lose the origins that way.  At least early records can make it possible for someone to compare modern to past and figure out if those original ideas still really do fit today's contest.

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, AmberLF said:

  Without something written to refer back to, well... you can easily lose the origins that way.  At least early records can make it possible for someone to compare modern to past and figure out if those original ideas still really do fit today's contest.

Considering for more than two centuries the followers of every holy text ....cannot agree 1) on the origins even with it in writing   2) the meaning of the context  3) the rituals and reverence required 4) which parts are literal and which are not .... it seems like the written version is under attack from within ... and continuously births  new versions of itself... morphs and progresses .....till any connection is fairly unrecognizable from the original, maybe...

 

As opposed in some cases to tribal traditions which have remained unchanged for eons....

 

Thx for the exchange of ideas

von

Share this post


Link to post
32 minutes ago, VonNoble said:

Considering for more than two centuries the followers of every holy text ....cannot agree 1) on the origins even with it in writing   2) the meaning of the context  3) the rituals and reverence required 4) which parts are literal and which are not .... it seems like the written version is under attack from within ... and continuously births  new versions of itself... morphs and progresses .....till any connection is fairly unrecognizable from the original, maybe...

 

As opposed in some cases to tribal traditions which have remained unchanged for eons....

 

Thx for the exchange of ideas

von

How does one know the tribal oral traditions have remained unchanged? Does one take the word of the storyteller that he is repeating verbatim as was told to him and hasn't added or subtracted from the story? End the end we all have to just "believe" something we are told is true unless we can reproduce the results for ourselves.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Brother Kaman said:

How does one know the tribal oral traditions have remained unchanged? Does one take the word of the storyteller that he is repeating verbatim as was told to him and hasn't added or subtracted from the story? End the end we all have to just "believe" something we are told is true unless we can reproduce the results for ourselves.

 

You have a good point.   I guess I am influenced from a cultural anthropology class I took years ago.  It was a pretty convincing argument for the validity of oral traditions.   Researchers showed  (with  supporting scientifically dated artifacts) that much of the cultural and spiritual traditions of Australia's aborigines has remained unchanged (or little changed) over a couple thousand years at least.    We saw a rather long documentary (ran two classes long)  (and it was fascinating)...therein were lots of supporting materials.   It was a long time ago but my take away of it all being fairly well substantiated has stuck with me (even if all the details I got tested on were long forgotten.) :huh:  I miss my very sharp memory - it served me well for a long time. 

 

von

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now