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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > If god exists, I doubt he is on anyone's side
If god exists, I doubt he is on anyone's side  [message #32464] Wed, 31 May 2006 22:39 Go to next message
timmy

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I exist. And I am on no-one's side except my own.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: If god exists, I doubt he is on anyone's side  [message #32469 is a reply to message #32464] Thu, 01 June 2006 00:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pimple is currently offline  pimple

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Greetings Boss-

How do you know for sure that god isn't on your side?

Nowhere in the cannon does it say that there is an obligation upon him/her/it to declare.

Nothing worse than being an unintentional instrument of divine intervention!

Regards
Simon



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
Re: If god exists, I doubt he is on anyone's side  [message #32483 is a reply to message #32469] Thu, 01 June 2006 07:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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That is the thing. He may be. Or he may not. But I happen to doubt it. And thus I doubt any firm declaration that he is on anyone's side. Or that nations will persist while he chooses. Or that administrations are god-given. Hmm "The Divine Right of Kings" springs to mind.

For those who do not realise it, a King was simply the biggest baddest bully around and enforced his divine right with proving it. God was, of course, on his side.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: If god exists, I doubt he is on anyone's side  [message #32484 is a reply to message #32483] Thu, 01 June 2006 08:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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I don't know whether anyone has realised it, but the administrative rights and duties of the American president, from the historical point of view, are almost identical to those of King George III.



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Random pointless rant  [message #32486 is a reply to message #32469] Thu, 01 June 2006 17:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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If God is omniscient and omnipotent, then that makes us so insignificant that we should have no right to presume to understand anything of His will or His views on any subject: no more than an amoeba could expect to understand the British parliamentary system.

I think it unbelievably presumptuous of whoever wrote the Bible to think that they could transliterate the Word of God into letters and words. Even assuming they were totally, utterly honest in doing so, did they not realise the conflict and suffering a single omission or ambiguity could cause?

The Word is so crucial, so valuable, so important, that no-one should ever have to hear it second hand. That's why I don't believe in God -- because it would be so much more logical, either:

- for Him to make his existence known to all, in no uncertain terms, or
- to conceal His identity completely, and only make His presence known in the afterlife (in which case he could judge people on their genuine goodness, not their religiousness)

Either He has taken a middle position, which seems only to have led to confusion and suffering, or He doesn't exist at all in the form we are taught about, and His Word is a human fabrication.

Then again, I'm a mere human, so what right have I to question His will? It's a circular argument. Back to paragraph one again.

David
Re: Random pointless rant  [message #32487 is a reply to message #32486] Thu, 01 June 2006 19:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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The Bible states that "Forever o Lord, thy word is settled in heaven". When God speak, it is done and cant be undone. Im with Deeej, How can men assume to speak for God. Even a semple mistake can be like putting words in Gods mouth. I believe there is a higher power, a more intelligent being but I dont believe he told a bunch of men what to write down. If its so, what of the knostic Gosipels? They have just as much authority as Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Or maybe God appeared to the men at the council of Nice and instruct them which books to include in the Bible. Dont give me this bit about he inspired these men. They were a bunch of men fighting like cats and dogs to get the books they wanted in the bible.



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
Re: Random pointless rant  [message #32488 is a reply to message #32487] Thu, 01 June 2006 20:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
jaycracker is currently offline  jaycracker

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I'm with Deeej and Brian on this one.

Anyone has a right to say what they personally believe or do not believe, but they have no right whatsoever to enforce their opinion on any other living being as a result or act on it as a result of their opinion.
Anyone who has the audacity to write down 'the Word of God' (?) is deluding themself in the belief that they got it right. That is of course assuming God exists.

We don't know for sure that he does. There's no firm evidence; we only have the questionable writings of a few ancient scribes. The only other thing is belief, and that's what all the people who profess to have religious beliefs can go on. Fine by me. Let them believe if they want. Maybe my name should have been Thomas.

But on the other hand, anyone who tries to screw my ears with their belief and try and convince me, is wasting breath. Only the boss could do that - if he hasn't given up and left the building.

Mike
The Bible also says  [message #32489 is a reply to message #32487] Fri, 02 June 2006 01:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pimple is currently offline  pimple

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that King Saul had the witch of Endor conjure up the ghost of Samuel, and that she was successful.

I always think about that when I'm told that everything in the Bible is true.

As I recall, the mother/mother in law character from 'Bewitched' was named Endora. Do you suppose the writers knew what they were doing?

(I usually don't touch a religious thread with a ten foot pole.)

Regards
Simon



Joy Peace and Tranquility

Joyceility
Don't be ridiculous ....  [message #32496 is a reply to message #32464] Fri, 02 June 2006 03:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cossie is currently offline  cossie

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.... he's on my side, of course!

Seriously, though, in this forum we've been there, done that and got the T-shirt (in several different colours!) so many times before.

I don't deny the existence of a supreme being, because I don't have the evidence upon which to base such a denial. But I do deny absolutely the right of anyone to dictate how I ought to live my life. It comes back to the interface between liberty and responsibility, to which I have referred in several previous posts. I will concede to everyone the right to believe what they wish to believe - but not the right to use that belief to impinge upon MY liberty.

Whether or not we adhere to a particular religious belief, there is an inherent goodness to which we can all aspire. It's a shame that so many alleged Christians lack the intellext to absorb such a simple fact.



For a' that an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man tae man, the worrld o'er
Shall brithers be, for a' that.
icon7.gif Re: Don't be ridiculous ....  [message #32503 is a reply to message #32496] Fri, 02 June 2006 05:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Handyman is currently offline  Handyman

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hahaha !!

good cossie!

I agree wholeheartedly!

Teddy Cool



Life's a trip * Friends help you through * Adventure on life!
Re: If god exists, I doubt he is on anyone's side  [message #32506 is a reply to message #32464] Fri, 02 June 2006 08:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
saben is currently offline  saben

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God is on my side. Because I believe he is, I expect he is on most people's sides as a result. My belief in God is a belief that is self-fulfilling. God believes in what I do simply because I believe that God is a source of goodness and I am a person that is trying to do God. The minute I listen to someone else telling me what or who God is, is the minute he stops being on my side because he stops being a personal belief and entity.

God is just that, belief. God only exists in belief, much like Santa Claus. However, unlike Santa Claus it is possible that God may exist, but if he does, we can never KNOW his will, just believe it. So keep on believing whatever you believe and keep on having faith that your OWN personal belief is right. One day human logic may be defied and we may know for a fact what God's will is, but right now, God's will is beyond human logic, because we can never KNOW, only guess, assume and most importantly believe.



Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time [...] No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Master Oogway
icon7.gif I need your help..!  [message #32512 is a reply to message #32506] Fri, 02 June 2006 13:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Handyman is currently offline  Handyman

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Hey you smart guys, as you may know I do believe in a Higher Power & it has been a fruitful, life changing belief.

As my belief springs from 'the Bible" I'd like to learn more on it's history & origins both pro & con. I've heard & read all the human reasoning about men couldn't keep it copied accurately enough, please no more of that..

What I'm hoping to find is some good references to the cannonization of the scriptures.. mainly who, when & why..with links to pages or at least sources. You all are so good in researching things.. Also info on other texts is welcome..even to the Koran & Torah..

I know I could study it myself & mean to .. but this thread gives me a chance to get a breadth of knowledge & research I couldn't attain on my own..

I imagine the Catholic Encyclopedia will give their point of view.. and I heard one of the new testamant writers prob had a major hand in canonization..Of course in JC time there was only the OT scriptures..Just did a quick Google search.. lemme know what you find or believe!

Thanks alot! BusyTeddy Cool



Life's a trip * Friends help you through * Adventure on life!
Re: I need your help..!  [message #32513 is a reply to message #32512] Fri, 02 June 2006 13:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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Teddy, the bible was pit together around 300AD. It was called the council of Nice. It brought together the two factions of Christians at the time of Constantine and Constantine headed the council. All the known gospels were brought together and they decided which ones would be included in the Vulgate ( Bible). We would have only had roumors of the Knostic gospels if someone hadnt burried then and they were uncovered in Egypt. These include the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Judas and the gospel of Mary the Magdaline, there are quite a bit more of them.



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
icon7.gif Arent u supposed to be studying in school now??  [message #32514 is a reply to message #32513] Fri, 02 June 2006 14:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Handyman is currently offline  Handyman

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hahahaha you sly guy! Thanks Brian, yeah I've heard that before ..

Wikipedia reference approaches it from the standpoint of Catholic, Orthodox & Protestant Christianity which began around 300 AD. I'd like to delve back a bit further and also study what you & Wikipedia say in detail.. Very Happy

I approach it as from the church Jesus founded in His Father's name beginning on day of Pentecost 31 AD (as distinct from the above churches).

We still use the bible of mainline Christianity but I'm just gonna dig into the depths & history of each book & the remnants we've found over the years. Will prob read some of the ones left out too of course..

Tho confirmed to me by God's Spirit, I want to know better the foundation of our faith.. The O.T. scriptures are pretty much a given.. it's the N.T. that needs focusing on I think.. Sad)

More references & info are appreciated...

Teddy Cool



Life's a trip * Friends help you through * Adventure on life!
Re: Arent u supposed to be studying in school now??  [message #32519 is a reply to message #32514] Fri, 02 June 2006 16:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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If Im not mistaken the oldest written gospel was written around 150 AD. They believe that up till that time all the gospels were passed on oraly.



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
icon5.gif Anyone actually get the point?  [message #32531 is a reply to message #32464] Sat, 03 June 2006 08:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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I expect a few of you did.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
icon8.gif Some things I did not create this place for:  [message #32533 is a reply to message #32531] Sat, 03 June 2006 14:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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  • Evangelism, especially religious, unless to promote equality for GLBT people
  • Pushing a political agenda. Stating one's politics is fine. Pushing them is not
  • Hectoring, harrassing, or otherwise aggravating a colleague poster
  • Bigotry
  • Dogmatic statements. I hate dogamtic statements. (Please note that is one such)

I have never minded that we have opinions. I have many Smile. I mind those being forced on others or being "the only true path".

Perhaps you now see why I created this place, and what this thread is about. God is on no-one's side. If he exists then he is on all sides or on none. While that may be dogmatic, it is also pragmatic.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Thank you, Timmy.  [message #32537 is a reply to message #32533] Sun, 04 June 2006 02:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cossie is currently offline  cossie

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It needed to be said. I hope it will be heard.



For a' that an' a' that,
It's comin' yet for a' that,
That man tae man, the worrld o'er
Shall brithers be, for a' that.
A Pakistani civil servant knows....  [message #32542 is a reply to message #32464] Sun, 04 June 2006 10:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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which movies God does not want you to watch!

This from today's newspaper:

Muslim Pakistan bans 'The Da Vinci Code'

Pakistan has banned "The Da Vinci Code" following calls from both minority Christians and majority Muslims, an official said on Sunday. The screening of the film in Pakistan, or possession of it on video cassettes or discs, was prohibited and unlawful, said Jalil Abbas, secretary of the Ministry of Culture. "The film is sacrilegious to all religions, that's why we did this," Abbas told Reuters. (Reuters)


I have not seen the movie but I have read the book. While it was not the 'impossible-to-put-down' smash hit that I was led to expect, it was reasonably good reading (if you like that kind of thing). I cannot recall anything in it that is outrageously disrespectful of Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Jainism, SDA, LDS, Shinto, Confucianism etc etc etc.

I think that John Stuart Mill's essay "On Liberty" should be required reading for every right-wing politician in the world. Hmmm. Let's throw in the left-wing politicians as well.

Presumably this civil servant knows what God wants us to see because She told him.



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Irrepressible  [message #32543 is a reply to message #32542] Sun, 04 June 2006 11:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

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On an allied topic, Amnesty International has launched a campaign "to call on all governments and companies to ensure the Internet is a force for political freedom, not repression."

Details on http://irrepressible.info/

While this is obviously largely aimed at political freedom of expression, many repressive regimes regard homosexuality as perversion or worse, and deny effective civil rights to gay people. There is a specific campaign to undermine censorship "by publishing irrepressible fragments of censored material on your own site. The more people take part, the more we can defeat unwarranted censorship and create an unstoppable network of protest."



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Irrepressible  [message #32544 is a reply to message #32543] Sun, 04 June 2006 11:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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I'm going to add the snippet to the site. I'm not sure what it can actually do, but it seesm to do no harm



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Irrepressible  [message #32545 is a reply to message #32544] Sun, 04 June 2006 12:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

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Actually I am not. It is badly designed and opens in the same window. I only link to sites in new wondows. If anyone feels stronglyenough to tell them to do a better job then I'll install the better snippet



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Dear God  [message #32548 is a reply to message #32542] Sun, 04 June 2006 12:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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The film's almost identical to the book. But it's not a good adaptation, nor is it a good film in its own right. I wish I hadn't seen it, as it was an enormous waste of money. Cardboard characters guided through an increasingly improbable plot soley by force of events. Nothing that suggests that these could ever be "real people" reacting in a genuine way to what happens around them.

It is hardly disrespectful of any religion. It makes one provocative allegation (that Christ was married and had a daughter), and depicts a particular conservative Christian organisation as barbaric (but exonerates it at the end).

How that could be construed to be sacrilegious not just to Christianity, but to all religions, I do not know.

What does sacrilegious mean, anyway? Something that might get people to think for themselves? Question what they are told? Prompts them to believe what they want to believe? If so, then there are many books and films infinitely more sacrilegious than the Da Vinci Code. Anyone can see (or should be able to see) that it's just a bit of silliness.

David
Re: Dear God  [message #32554 is a reply to message #32548] Sun, 04 June 2006 13:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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All the religions in the world want you to park your brain at the door when you go in. they dont want you to think for yourself cause you might realize they might be wrong.



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
Re: Dear God  [message #32555 is a reply to message #32554] Sun, 04 June 2006 13:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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Brian1407a wrote:

All the religions in the world want you to park your brain at the door when you go in. they dont want you to think for yourself cause you might realize they might be wrong.

I would agree with you, Brian, if you substitute 'priests' for 'religions'. Not all religions require blind obedience and unthinking faith: I know mine doesn't. But most run-of-the-mill clerics seem to prefer their clients to be intellectually lazy or worse. (Or should that have been 'better'?)



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Re: Dear God  [message #32557 is a reply to message #32555] Sun, 04 June 2006 14:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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>But most run-of-the-mill clerics seem to prefer their clients to be intellectually lazy or worse.

Hmm.

Well, I can only speak from a very limited point of view, but I have known a few very intelligent Church of England priests (mostly teachers at my school) and, without exception, they have welcomed intelligent and even provocative discussion of religious matters. Nothing was blasphemous or taboo, and while I regret I never brought up the subject of homosexuality with them I don't see any reason to believe that they would have been anything other than sympathetic.

The Anglican church's problem is that it is too damn big. It has a lot of intelligent and liberal priests, and it has a good man at the top (Rowan Williams), but he is so paranoid about upsetting other countries' churches -- churches that really don't have a lot to do with the Church of England, except that they have historically been part of the Anglican communion -- that he cannot reform it in any useful way. I personally see no reason why other countries, which have steadily less in common with us, should have a say over the English national church's policy. If they disagree, they should split off and form their own church. In the meantime, it makes the whole church look bad.

David
Re: Anyone actually get the point?  [message #32559 is a reply to message #32531] Sun, 04 June 2006 19:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
electroken is currently offline  electroken

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Yeah I think I get it just fine Tim. I think we all tend to philosophize about life and for most it involves God somehow. Some people have very profound views on the what and how and why of life and it involves how they react to the idea of there being a God. We all tend to get a bit defensive when our belief system is challanged and especially when it comes to something like belief in God. We all tend to think that God is on our side of course, but it seems to me He would have to be on everyone's or noone's side when it comes to how we decide to relate to one another.

In my simplistic (and many would say childish and immature) view of God I see the reason to believe as a logical answer to why are we and how did we get here in the first place. It doesnt make sense for some to have a religious belief, I realize that, but it just helps me to find a reason for my very existance.

If we could be as tolerant as our religion teaches us, there would be far less hate and discontent in the world, but most seem to want to shove their belief system downt the throat of everyone else. If you were to define religion scientifically then there are many who would profess to have a belief system that did not include any concept of God at all, but the way in which they profess that belief system has all the earmarks of a "religion" with "god" being science.

We should all take care that we try not to offend. I have been guilty of that for sure and I feel bad about forgetting what I preach. I will try to do better in the future.



Ken
Re: Dear God  [message #32566 is a reply to message #32557] Sun, 04 June 2006 21:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
kupuna is currently offline  kupuna

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The "old" Northern European protestant churches have a stronger tradition of open debates and discussions than the Catholic Church and some of the newer churches, with a stronger demand for loyalty towards their leadership.

In Norway there is a growing acceptance of gay marriage, even within the Church of Norway, and there is a widening acceptance within the church, even in some conservative quarters, that there is a continuous need to sit down to talk - and learn. Some priests and bishops have changed their minds about gay marriage and about admitting married gay priests to the pulpits. Our first woman bishop, Rosemarie Köhn, has been a prominent advocate for gay rights both within and outside the church. She is now retiring and has accepted an invitation to walk at the head of this year's gay pride parade in Oslo later this month.

This situation wouldn't have been possible without a fair number of good people within the church who are sensitive and sympathetic to new ideas, even if they initially seem to collide with old traditions.

In fact, today is seems obvious to me that football and other sports arenas, right wing politicians and tabloid and populist newsmedia may be just as heavily infected with homophobia and other phobias and bigotry, and that they have even fewer people who are both intelligent, open-minded and determined enough to fight this disease.
Re: I need your help..!  [message #32585 is a reply to message #32513] Mon, 05 June 2006 05:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
saben is currently offline  saben

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Actually the Council of Nicaea had nothing to do with the canonisation of scripture. That is something Dan Brown took artistic liberty with in The Da Vinci Code. I'm not sure if that's where you got that from, or if you got it from somewhere else.

As far as it is officially known the Council of Nicaea was a discussion and vote on the nature of Christ. The basic question was "Is Jesus as powerful as God, or is he less powerful than God but still greater than man? Was Jesus as God or a demi-God?" The basic agreement was that God and Jesus are of the same "matter".

As for the canonisation of scripture, though, the Council of Nicaea had nothing to do with it. The Gnonistic Gospels were not added to the Bible, for sure, but most of the Gnostic Gospels are older than the Canonised Gospels anyway and are arguably even less accurate.



Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time [...] No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Master Oogway
Re: Dear God  [message #32586 is a reply to message #32548] Mon, 05 June 2006 05:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
saben is currently offline  saben

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Agreed. Sure Dan Brown got a lot wrong, but Lord of the Rings is FULL of historic errors, too. We don't ban Tolkein from the shelves for inaccuracy.



Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time [...] No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Master Oogway
Re: Dear God  [message #32591 is a reply to message #32586] Mon, 05 June 2006 08:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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Isn't the Lord of the Rings set in Tolkien's own fantasy world, one he made up himself?

The lines become more blurred when someone writes fiction about organisations and hypotheses that really exist. Though, of course, one would expect readers to understand that when a book is labelled "fiction" it does actually mean "fiction".

David
Re: I need your help..!  [message #32597 is a reply to message #32585] Mon, 05 June 2006 12:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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Excuse me but Mr Brown had nothing to do with what I said. The Council of Nicea was the ones who chose the books that would later become the Vulgate. It was at the council that Constantine Made the two factions of Christians come together and stop arguing and fighting.



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
Brian, are you sure about this?  [message #32600 is a reply to message #32597] Mon, 05 June 2006 12:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JFR is currently offline  JFR

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It would be helpful if you could refer us to a source. Until you wrote I had always thought what Saben wrote - but I am no authority on early Christianity!



The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by its constitutional monarch, is among the least. (Richard Dawkins, 2006)
Re: Brian, are you sure about this?  [message #32601 is a reply to message #32600] Mon, 05 June 2006 13:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian1407a is currently offline  Brian1407a

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Ill take the time to hunt up the source book. Its been a while since I read that, but I got it here somewhere.



I believe in Karma....what you give is what you get returned........

Affirmation........Savage Garden
Re: Brian, are you sure about this?  [message #32607 is a reply to message #32601] Mon, 05 June 2006 15:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
saben is currently offline  saben

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Just make sure it isn't Mr. Brown's work Wink

I just read the Da Vinci Code like, 2 days ago, so it's all fresh in my mind, no offense intended. I did however spend most of last night pouring over Wikipedia and a variety of other websites trying to sort out truth from fiction, for my own sake. The Da Vinci Code, while an awesome read seems to be a very well written and suspensful summary of half the conspiracy theories that have circulated around in recent times. I loved every minute of it, though Very Happy

And yes, if you can find the reference it'd be great.



Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time [...] No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Master Oogway
Re: Dear God  [message #32608 is a reply to message #32591] Mon, 05 June 2006 16:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
saben is currently offline  saben

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Yeah, poor example on my part.

Personally I think Brown used a few too many real-world references. The Opus Dei didn't need to be named and the cathedrals could have been renamed too. It makes it seem more realistic than it should. Even other works of fiction don't blur the line that much. I think part of the appeal is in the real-worliness of it. The only reason it's so famous is because it's so controversial, none of Brown's previous books were as widely read.



Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time [...] No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Master Oogway
Dan Brown and real-life places  [message #32610 is a reply to message #32608] Mon, 05 June 2006 16:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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Saben said,
>the cathedrals could have been renamed too.

I don't think they could, to be honest. If he didn't name them, it would have been pretty easy to work out which one's he was referring to; and if he gave them different names, it would have jarred with most Brits. He couldn't have just invented them, not in London, anyway. There are only a limited number of authentic cathedrals/ancient buildings in the UK, and most are well-known and regarded nationally with a certain amount of fondness. (I can't say I'd heard of Rosslyn Chapel before I read the book, though.)

>I think part of the appeal is in the real-worliness of it.

Indeed. I must confess, when I read the book the parts I enjoyed the most were the references to places within Paris (which I've visited) and London (which I live very close to). His research might have been only skin-deep but, it was good enough that nothing felt especially out of place.

Oh, apart from the fact that the characters all referred to Royal Holloway, my university, as "The Holloway". I have never heard anyone else call it that. It does, however, have some sort of information security/cryptography department, which is presumably why Brown chose it.

David
Re: Brian, are you sure about this?  [message #32611 is a reply to message #32607] Mon, 05 June 2006 16:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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Saben,
>The Da Vinci Code, while an awesome read seems to be a very well written

I don't think I would go so far as to say that it's very well written. Just adequately written enough to get across the plot, which is its strongest feature.

Its weakest feature is the characters, which are paper-thin (even more paper-thin in the film). It's fine for a holiday read, but, once you realise that most of the historical allegations are false or unproveable, and that many of the "clues" were invented by Brown himself, there's not a lot left. That's why I'm baffled as to why it's caused such a frenzy, considering that many far more radical and interesting books and films are completely ignored by the conservative religious groups.

Sorry; I'm a snob as well as a pedant!

David
Re: Brian, are you sure about this?  [message #32612 is a reply to message #32611] Mon, 05 June 2006 17:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
saben is currently offline  saben

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To me a well written book makes you want to keep on reading. Upon reflection I thought it was an "okay" book, but at the time I was reading it I didn't want to put it down. The fishhooks were deliberate and obvious, but they were still there and I gladly bit down on them, as obvious as they were. Part of my interest in the book was simply that I haven't had a good read recently. A lot of people don't read fiction regularly, but because of the controversy a lot of people DID read The Da Vinci Code, and although so much of what happened was quite "predictable" for a clue-based mystery for people that don't read fiction a lot and are used to 2 hour movies rather than 12 hour long books, it was probably quite a bit of fun.



Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time [...] No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Master Oogway
It's fun, but hardly entitled to the press it has received  [message #32613 is a reply to message #32612] Mon, 05 June 2006 17:42 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

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Registered: March 2005
Messages: 3281



Saben,

>The fishhooks were deliberate and obvious, but they were still there and I gladly bit down on them, as obvious as they were.

I don't deny that the book was "fun" while reading it. The thing is, it has precious little readability value, and when you've finished reading it, you don't feel enriched (unless you happen to believe everything it says about Christianity, which would be pretty foolish). In fact, once you start realising the devices that were used to manipulate you, the plot machinations just under the surface, the unlikelihood of such events unfolding, or the characters reacting, the way they did -- it all starts to fall apart. Like watching a great performance on a film set -- then, suddenly, you hear the director call "cut!" and the lights go off, the actor removes his make-up, the art department start tearing down the flats, the loaders take the film out of the cameras, and you realise the world you thought you touched was never real.

Many of the greatest books are the opposite -- sometimes they are hard to read the first time, but once you go back to them you see something more, something that makes you feel you know the characters and are part of their story. You know how they will react, you feel for them while they strive to fend for themselves in the face of adversity. When you finish reading you feel enriched for having been part of the story.

That didn't happen for me with the Da Vinci Code (though I would not want to dictate the feelings of other people -- as you point out, it may be one of the first books many people have read), and that's why I don't think it's a good book, or a good film.

David
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