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Thread: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

  1. #41
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    But I know of no papal bills endorsing violence against the Jews, that would be counterproductive as the main divide is the belief in Jesus between the Jews and Christians, hurting the potential new (absurdly weahlthy, which is important) members of the church.
    There were quite a few bulls against Jews (you can find a short list here), but one of the most abominable was arguably Cum nimis absurdum, which takes its name from its first words:

    “Since it is utterly absurd and inappropriate to be in a situation where Christian piety allows the Jews (whose guilt—all of their own doing—has condemned them to eternal slavery) access to our society and even to live among us; indeed, they are without gratitude to Christians, as, instead of thanks for gracious treatment, they return invective, and among themselves, instead of the slavery, which they deserve”

    The bull revoked all the rights of the Jewish community and placed religious and economic restrictions on Jews in the Papal States, renewed anti-Jewish legislation and subjected Jews to various degradations and restrictions on their personal freedom.

    The bull established the Roman Ghetto and required the Jews of Rome, who had existed as a community since before Christian times and numbered about 2,000 at the time, to live in it. The Ghetto was a walled quarter with three gates that were locked at night. Under the bull, Jewish males were required to wear a pointed yellow hat, and Jewish females a yellow kerchief. Jews were required to attend compulsory Catholic sermons on the Jewish shabbat.

    The bull also subjected Jews to various other restrictions such as a prohibition on property ownership and practising medicine among Christians. Jews were allowed to practice only unskilled jobs, as rag men, secondhand dealers or fish mongers. They could also be pawnbrokers.

    Paul IV's successor, Pope Pius IV, enforced the creation of other ghettos in most Italian towns, and his successor, Pope Pius V, recommended them to other bordering states. The Papal States ceased to exist on 20 September 1870 when they were incorporated in the Kingdom of Italy, but the requirement that Jews live in the ghetto was only formally abolished by the Italian state in 1882.

    ...

    Paul IV sought to strictly enforce earlier canonical restrictions against the Jews—as those prohibiting their practising medicine among Christians, employing Christian servants, and the like—but he also restricted them in their commercial activity, forbade them to have more than one synagogue in any city, enforced the wearing of the yellow hat, refused to permit a Jew to be addressed as "signor", and finally decreed that they should live in a designated area separated from Christians. The last measure was carried out in Rome with unrelenting cruelty.

    ...

    The measures were aimed at bringing about Jewish conversions. "These policies were easier to enforce in the Papal States, where the Pope had executive power, as well as elsewhere in Italy, where the papacy had influence. Beyond Italy, though, the provisions of the bull were largely ignored." In Poland, Church officials never proposed segregation of the Jews as such a measure would not have been supported by the king or the nobles.
    As you can see, it was sanctioned at the highest levels of the Catholic church and was not the work of rogue political or military leaders.
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  2. #42
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    There were quite a few bulls against Jews
    Violence against Jews? I don't see any advocacy for violence in there, and discussion by Jews about Hebrew slaves was actually quite common within the old testament for example; so it's really not *that* shocking.
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  3. #43
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    Violence against Jews? I don't see any advocacy for violence in there, and discussion by Jews about Hebrew slaves was actually quite common within the old testament for example; so it's really not *that* shocking.
    Well, I imagine compliance with the bull's provisions wasn't voluntary.
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    So let me get this straight, your argument is that the numerous popes only ever advocated for violence (lets call it indirect implications) and that violence against the Jews was never discouraged by Papal bulls and there was a pattern of systemic encouragement of violence against the interests of the Jews and their protection.
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  5. #45
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    No, like I said, you can find many instances where prelates intervened to stop unsanctioned attacks against Jews, but it's also not difficult to find instances where the highest-ranking officials of the church sanctioned the demonization and second-class status of Jews. In other words, it's not correct to state that mistreatment of Jews was all the work of rogue actors who lacked the assent of the church.
    Last edited by Prodromos; March 18, 2020 at 03:49 PM.
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  6. #46
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prodromos View Post
    No, like I said, you can find many instances where prelates intervened to stop unsanctioned attacks against Jews, but it's also not difficult to find instances where the highest-ranking officials of the church sanctioned the demonization and second-class status of Jews. In other words, it's not correct to state that mistreatment of Jews was all the work of rogue actors who lacked the assent of the church.
    Indeed, given the penetration of the ordinate into Feudal and Early Modern state apparatus often prelates and other church officials were royal/state agents in active persecutions.

    While the example of the Spanish Inquisition is constantly raised, that is because its an excellent one. The Holy office in Spain was created by the Pope at the request of their Most Catholic Majesties, who nominated appointees confirmed by the Pope, and was headed at first by a Dominican friar whose explicit aim was exterminate heretics as they were by nature disloyal to the Christian monarchs of newly united Hispania.

    Christian identity was closely woven into the emerging "Spanish" identity and both royal and papal administrations had some very strong anti-Jewish elements, as well as more tolerant ones.
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  7. #47
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    I don't think, (and maybe you agree since you said "many" instances) that there was any evidence for systemic advocacy of violence against them, rather the contrary. It appears to me that conversion was the goal, more than anything.

    But let's see what some of the Jewish scholarly material has to say:

    Sicut Judaeis. First issued by *Calixtus II around 1120, it was a general Bull of Protection for the Jews, who had suffered at the hands of participants in the First Crusade (1095–96) and were being maltreated by their Christian neighbors. It forbade killing them, using force to convert them, and otherwise molesting them, their synagogues, and cemeteries. The bull was modeled on a letter, which began with the same phrase, sent to the bishop of Palermo by Pope *Gregory I in 598, objecting to the use of force as a conversionary method. Calixtus' formulation was repeated by most of the popes from the 12th to the 15th centuries. They often added references to problems current in their day. Several of them condemned the accusation of ritual murder (see *blood libel ).
    https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/papal-bulls

    The pope warned his subjects not to take measures against the Jews, and threatened anyone who harmed a Jew with excommunication.
    https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.prem...fies-1.5405782

    Beyond Italy, though, the provisions of the bull were largely ignored. In Poland, for example, despite the efforts of Luigi Lippomano, the papal nuncio to Poland in the 1550s, ghettoization of the Jews was never proposed by Church authorities, since such a drastic measure would not have been supported by the king or the nobles.
    http://jewishhistory.research.wesley...r-reformation/

    The arrival of a sizable quantity of foreign Jews brought about the first set of transformations in the internal life of the community which were followed by the self regulation of the community imposed by the statutes of 1524, the creation of the Casa dei Catecumeni in 1543 under Paul III, the public burning of the Talmud ordered by Julius III and, naturally the most important of all, the creation of the ghetto following Paul IV’s bull Cum nimis absurdum of 1555 and their expulsion from the towns in all the Papal States except Rome and Ancona under Pius V, a measure which was the subject of several reversals and confirmations throughout the century by that pope’s successors. All these episodes are described by the author in terms of the lasting impact they were to have on the community of Rome.

    Di Nepi’s overall thesis throughout, defended with the presentation a variety of situations and examples, is that in spite of the increasing implosion of the Jewish world of Rome, imposed by papal policy, which imposed exclusion and enclosure, the Jews of Rome were able to hold steadfast to an identity, preserve a specificity and defend themselves against persisting attempts to convert them through active proselytism and social exclusion calculated to erode their adherence to their Jewish faith. The end result was the preservation, over the subsequent three centuries, on the part of the Jews of Rome, of Jewish ritual and belief, thanks to a more resolute sense of Jewish identity and internal religious coherence.


    Though the Jews of Rome were quite literally set apart from Roman society and enclosed there were, nonetheless, examples of contact and coexistence. As Di Nepi clearly shows their marginality did not preclude share endeavors and business ventures as is abundantly evinced, in particular, in the activities of Jewish bankers, who were actively were involved with Christian partners in a variety of activities, including the purchase and sale of real estate. The use of volgare for the drawing out of deeds and agreements on the part of the Jewish notary Pompeo del Borgo, is presented by Di Nepi as a telling example of the degree of interaction with Roman society on the part of its Jewish community, a community which, although, officially excluded from the society around it, nevertheless managed to be part of it and found ways to be guaranteed protection and defense.
    http://primolevicenter.org/printed-m...ng-the-ghetto/
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  8. #48
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    Generally these sorts of things were in fact political covered with a thin veneer of religion simply due to the tight integration in society.
    Considering how tightly integrated religion was with society and government, I wouldn't call it a "thin" veneer. It's a thorough emulsion.

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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaximiIian View Post
    Considering how tightly integrated religion was with society and government, I wouldn't call it a "thin" veneer. It's a thorough emulsion.
    Religion was the political correctness of that day but it didnt mean everyone actually agreed with it. Sometimes a thin veneer was necessary for the sake of being PC and recruiting everyone possible to your cause but the geopolitics and basic human motivations are the same.
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    What would it take for you to change your stance on religion? Whether you're an Atheist or a Theist or a Deist, what evidence or event would you need in order for you to change your position on religion?
    Personally, I strongly, strongly, strongly doubt that we'll ever get a direct evidence of God as defined in existing religions. In other words, you'll never see Jesus walking on water or Krishna spreading love everywhere.

    Instead, my belief as to whether a Divine Being exists or not will depend on the solution we find for the Measuring Problem in Quantum physics.

    In any case, I believe that if one somehow does decide to believe in a God, it would be a shame if they chose to believe in any of the ones that are currently an option, such as the Christian God, Allah, Buddha, etc. While interesting, those religions are outdated and very human biased. Current, modern beliefs such as panpsychism, pandeism are much more likely to describe what a potential God would be like rather than the traditional religions describe.

  11. #51
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Another option that has occurred to me: Total despair.
    So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:16).

  12. #52
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    To me I find organized religion to be a worthless endeavor, mainly because of the fact I grew up fascinated by and rigorously studying history. Every ancient religious institution independently arose to serve a societal, practical function of controlling humanity at the onset of civilization. They created practical rules that helped their society function in the day and age in which they arose (hygiene and food preparation, neighborly disputes, inter-societal violence, etc.) and seemingly came up with a believable reason for those rules that would allow them to placate the populace while elevating themselves (the nobility or priestly classes). This is indisputable fact. We're taught that these religions that clearly out-date the majority of the ones that exist today were silly tales and myths, yet what makes our silly beliefs to explain the mysteries of life any more logical or "real" than those held by individuals thousands of years ago?

    Take for example more modern religions that most everyone accepts as "cooky" or "cult-like". Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists all believe in completely absurd things from the viewpoint of most people I personally know. Joseph Smith read new testaments out of a hat that no one else ever saw, claimed the Garden of Eden was in St. Louis and that native Americans were the lost tribe of the Israelites who had their "skin turned red as punishment"; racism runs rampant in this religion as a result. We know that's literally not true because we can genetically trace native Americans to be closely related to East Asian/Siberians via the Bering Strait land bridge. L. Ron Hubbard claimed human souls were reincarnated aliens carried in space planes that looked exactly like airplanes from the era he was writing in. The man even published sci-fi books before turning it into a religion. But the thing is, to those people that cult-like religion is realer to them than Christianity or any of the "big 5" religions are to us.

    How can I use science to destroy the validity of these modern religions or these ancient religions simply because they're recent enough to be obviously bunk or old enough that they've been supplanted in their areas of origin, while still insisting that the religion I was socialized into is real? One in which a man was born able to transform water into wine and was resurrected? That sure as hell doesn't make any scientific sense either but from our modern view it fits exactly into that "long enough there's no way to clearly disprove it" while also being recent enough that "there's written documentation of it and it's survived to the modern era". But we've seen for the last several thousand years that these modern religions still have just been used as a tool of corruption and control of the lower classes.

    I believe it's okay to be spiritual and believe in some form of higher being, as it seems the alternative would be rather nihilistic but I just can't believe in the exact doctrine of any religion. What are the chances that in a billions old existence that any one religion actually "got it right"? Especially when every religion is just building upon those that came before it. They're just stories being passed on for generations and evolving from the last. I won't be convinced otherwise unless Jesus literally descends from heaven and announces he's real with live miracles. No one could possibly convince me with words to be honest. No theology or philosophy debate means anything to me.
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  13. #53
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by ggggtotalwarrior View Post

    I believe it's okay to be spiritual and believe in some form of higher being, as it seems the alternative would be rather nihilistic but I just can't believe in the exact doctrine of any religion.
    The alternative to not choosing to believe in intangible entities or deities is to live a life as happy as possible trying not to behave like a total idiot (respecting the environment, empathizing with people, etc.) and accept that death is a ####. Not such a terrible "alternative" (If lying to yourself is a viable option for you).
    Last edited by mishkin; April 03, 2020 at 05:19 AM. Reason: "" ()
    So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:16).

  14. #54
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    In my youth, I was a hardcore atheist. The older I get, the more appealing Christianity (Catholicism) becomes. But I just haven't been able to get myself to cross the line into actually believing. Perhaps nothing short of having Mary appear in front of me could make me cross that line. Like Thomas, I need to see in order to believe.

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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by mishkin View Post
    The alternative to not choosing to believe in intangible entities or deities is to live a life as happy as possible trying not to behave like a total idiot (respecting the environment, empathizing with people, etc.) and accept that death is a ####. Not such a terrible "alternative" (If lying to yourself is a viable option for you).
    I feel this line of thought can easily be turned the other way around, coming from the other side of the debate. Being a believer (doesn't really matter in what kind of deity or entity) doesn't automatically mean you are not a, quote on quote, total idiot. I don't need a divine entity to tell me how to behave nor do I need the promise of eternal damnation hanging above my head if I do not behave like a good person, for me to behave like a good person. Just don't be a dick is quite enough information for me.

    We all lie to ourselves and believe what we want to believe, to a large extent. I'm no exception.

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  16. #56
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    We all lie to ourselves and believe what we want to believe, to a large extent. I'm no exception.
    I wrote almost exactly this the previous time someone was offended when I was talking about self-deception.
    Last edited by mishkin; April 05, 2020 at 07:51 AM. Reason: link
    So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:16).

  17. #57
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    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by mishkin View Post
    I totally agree. To live a life only using reason and logic would be truly unbearable, for all parties involved. To acknowledge you lie to yourself (even though you'd like to believe you are always level-headed and "true" to reason) is something many don't like to admit (or they simply refuse the fact that everyone lies to themselves, in some way, is valid). Usually people get offended when someone points out the hypocrisy in their thinking to them, or as they see it, you deliberately misunderstanding them. Introspection is a wondrous thing as well as not taking yourself so seriously.

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  18. #58

    Default Re: What would it take for you to change your stance on religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by ggggtotalwarrior View Post
    I believe it's okay to be spiritual and believe in some form of higher being, as it seems the alternative would be rather nihilistic
    Well sure it is "okay", but there is no rational reason to do so.

    What do you mean by "nihilistic"? Why would the alternative be "nihilistic"?

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