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Is the Da Vinci code any good? - Page 3

post #81 of 89
OK, Im about 3/4 of the way through the book now

It seems my hypothesis about what this book claims is wrong

What this book really is, is a cold calculated plot to undermine the chances of the 'truth' ever getting out.

Certainly there is an awful lot of 'factual' evidence in this book that has given me some 'glee' when I've been reading it, virtually confirming everything I have been studying for the past few years. But it's there not because some wise author is trying to get some real truth out into the public domain.

It exists in a phrase i'd call "guilt by association". Alot of this stuff is easily found in many 'critical' books of Christianity, including some I have read myself. Books by real scholars, collecting real evidence and making real arguments. These books are the 'evidence' of the truth, and pose a real threat to the established orthodoxy.

The reason it is 'guilt by association' is because this book will evidently be exposed as a pile of crock. And its by design. When certain aspects of this are rightly exposed as crock, it will take down all the genuine evidence with it, and thus discredit all the good work that has been done into the real truth of the Church, Christianity and Jesus.

So while certain elements of Christendom are publicy throwing a strop, behind closed doors, they must be laughing so hard their lungs are exploding.

This book is just their plan to discredit all the evidence that exists that they are a bogus operation.
post #82 of 89
Dan Brown has started writing for NBC daytime...watch for it this fall, I have his first script right here...here is a brief synopsys...

Announcer: Like sand through an hourglass, so were the days of our Lord...

Jesus to a set of distrout sisters: Where is this Lazarus fellow...

Sister 1: It is so terrible; He is in...(whipes away a tear)

Cue dramatic stepdown...dun-dun-dun

sister 2: a coma!

Thomas: Come hither, let me comfort you... Giggidy Giggidy!

Cue announcer guy: Will Jesus be able to help Lazarus? will Thomas score a two way with the sisters and deny it...thrice? for the answers to those questions and more; tune into the next chapter in the saga of the Days of Our Lord!

Will it sell?
</comic releif>

It is BS, it is a work of fiction, nothing less nothing more, I'd rather just watch a good Batman flick...
You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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You can't quantify how much I don't care -- Bob Kevoian of the Bob and Tom Show.
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post #83 of 89
So Segovius, did we but the bad boy to bed?

Anyway, whatever you believe is almost irrelavent to me, the only issue I have with religion is fundamentalism. Jesus, buddha, krishna, paganism, wicca are all fair game to me, if thats the path you chose, im fine with it.

I've been meaning to ask you about Apollonius of Tyana. I think by far the most influential person in the 1st Century.

How do you think he fits into all of this mystery?
post #84 of 89
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
I would say that it is illogical not to complete the journey.

To start off along the path seeking the truth, as everyone does who picks up a bible or quran or whatever - must mean that you are prepared to find it, or you were never genuine about the search in the first place. You cant just stop when you have found enough to make you feel 'fuzzy' and ignore the rest. If you really want to know that bad, you have to be prepared to destroy yourself finding out. If you find that everything you thought you believed was a lie and you're staring the abyss of nothingness straight in the face - Do you jump in or backtrack to a more comfortable place? If you are genuine in your search, it is illogical not to jump in whatever the consequences.

Then comes the question of how you label yourself, I've thought about being a gnostic, a Christian, agnostic, athiest, or just making up some cute title for my belief, like Apollonian, but I think Athiest is probably the best fit.

No doubt that draws some critisism from people who would like to frame me as making a decision about something impossible to answer - but I think their claim that it is impossible is not true. I think it is possible, and their claims are just ways of getting their hooks back into you to try to make you reconsider.

But i've thought of a very simple test for God's existance and it comes out a resounding NO.

"If I was the only person on earth, and I had no knowledge of anything, would I end up believing in God, be him Jehovah, Jesus, Allah, Mithra, Dionysus? Would I end up a gnostic? Would I end up a Christian, a Muslim or a Satanist?"

If any of these things were 'literally' real, you could say that some way or another that this truth would be sent to me.

If however these things are just the product of thousands of years of refinement of slowly gained knowledge, then it would be impossible to find out any of this in my sole 80 odd years on Earth.

Therefore God cannot be a 'literal' truth, and must be a product of the refinement of Science and Knowledge of mankind.

PS. Whats creepy about gnosis anyway? Whats more creepy is wanting to know the truth and deliberately not finding it.

I don't see it as a journey, I think that's the difference. My goal is to determine what makes the most sense, empirically and rationally. I mean, why not go even more to the extreme, why stop where you have? If it's a journey, that is.

If you believe there's affirmative evidence that people invented the person of Jesus, that's one thing. I haven't seen any evidence of that. What seems most parsimonious and consistent with the evidence to me is that there was a man named Yeshua who was from Nazareth and was an apocalyptic Jewish preacher who had a very strong impact on a lot of people before he was executed by Palestine's Roman rulers. Then a fellow Jew, Paul, who had never met Jesus, started this religion around him, and he and others started exaggerating aspects of his life - virgin birth, from Bethlehem, came back to life after execution, etc., and it went on from there, until the "Jesus Christ" of just a few decades later looked almost nothing like the real Yeshua. But the idea that they invented someone totally from scratch makes less sense to me.

I mean, we know for certain that Yeshua was a common name, like "James" still is today, we know for certain that there were plenty of apocalyptic preachers running around, and we know that the Romans executed people on the cross by the zillions. It's almost inconceivable that there wasn't someone who fit the general life story. And that's what you're saying - that there was no Jewish apocalyptic preacher executed by Rome who later became the basis for Christianity.

What creeps me out about gnosticism is that the gnosis they inevitably find is absurd. After all, scientology is gnostic as well. If you think the canonical Christian gospels and beliefs are ridiculous, the gnostic Christians are even more absurd. It's not just a search for truth, it's a search for some crazy invention that makes the "journey" all the more worthwhile for them.
post #85 of 89
Quote:
Originally posted by MarcUK
So Segovius, did we but the bad boy to bed?

Anyway, whatever you believe is almost irrelavent to me, the only issue I have with religion is fundamentalism. Jesus, buddha, krishna, paganism, wicca are all fair game to me, if thats the path you chose, im fine with it.

I've been meaning to ask you about Apollonius of Tyana. I think by far the most influential person in the 1st Century.

How do you think he fits into all of this mystery?

Fundamentalism: there is no-one more fundamentalist than me if it comes to adhering to the original pure form of things and I am proud to be one in the real sense. However, this is a word which is much abused by the twin idiots that plague our blighted lives in this time: the media and the literalists.

I often use the term in a derogatory sense as a stand in for literalists because it amuses me to annoy them and I find it ironic. I would much prefer to enter into intelligent and rational debate with them but they are not capable of this - so I call them fundies when really I am a fundie and they are not. They are just literalists incapable of free-thought.

The very people who have polluted all real and beautiful religious frameworks from day one whatever the tradition in fact.

In any event, it seems strange you claim to have an animus against fundamentalism when you deny that there is a historical figure which the Church can diverge from. how then can there be fundamentalism - ie, as opposed to what if Jesus never existed?

There can only be a 'fundamentalism' with its putative opposite - that is to say: an original doctrine and a corrupt one.

If there was no Jesus and it is all made up then there only ever has been one doctrine - a false one perhaps but only one: the Church's.

I say this - and don't take this the wrong way - because I have come to suspect you are of their number. You are not a religionist for sure, but I'm suspecting you are some breed of literalist and this is why you cannot countenance a historical Jesus: because that to you would validate the Church.

But on: Apollonius of Tyana is also one of my favourite characters of history. I have no insight into his place in any 'mystery' but - in my warped view - he is of the same metaphorical lineage of Jesus.

In his memoirs (great read btw) Casanova - I think it was Casanova - perhaps Bellini - claims to have successfully summoned the ghost of Apollonius in a ritual in Rome's Coliseum. Interesting idea.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #86 of 89
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
What creeps me out about gnosticism is that the gnosis they inevitably find is absurd. After all, scientology is gnostic as well. If you think the canonical Christian gospels and beliefs are ridiculous, the gnostic Christians are even more absurd. It's not just a search for truth, it's a search for some crazy invention that makes the "journey" all the more worthwhile for them.

In what sense is the Gnosis absurd? Could you be specific?
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #87 of 89
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
I don't see it as a journey, I think that's the difference. My goal is to determine what makes the most sense, empirically and rationally. I mean, why not go even more to the extreme, why stop where you have? If it's a journey, that is.

who ever said I stopped?

Quote:

If you believe there's affirmative evidence that people invented the person of Jesus, that's one thing. I haven't seen any evidence of that.

Just because you havn't seen it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Either you dont want to find it, or you are scared of finding it. Or maybe you have found it, but the implications of it are too scary for you to endorse at the moment.

Quote:

What seems most parsimonious and consistent with the evidence to me is that there was a man named Yeshua who was from Nazareth and was an apocalyptic Jewish preacher who had a very strong impact on a lot of people before he was executed by Palestine's Roman rulers. Then a fellow Jew, Paul, who had never met Jesus, started this religion around him, and he and others started exaggerating aspects of his life - virgin birth, from Bethlehem, came back to life after execution, etc., and it went on from there, until the "Jesus Christ" of just a few decades later looked almost nothing like the real Yeshua. But the idea that they invented someone totally from scratch makes less sense to me.

They didn't invent someone from scratch, they took lots of already existing ideas and rolled them into one. As far as the rest of that paragraph goes, I completely understand why many people think that. But, you have achieved this level of understanding by seeking out knowledge. Therefore knowledge supercedes faith. But then this knowledge becomes faith. Thus, you must keep searching out knowledge. Knowledge only allows a person to move from one false position, to another position less false. Infact, the big 'secret' is there is no truth, all there are, are positions less false than the last one.

Even my position is false. The only difference is that while your position is less false than 'fundamentalism', my position is still less false than yours.

Quote:

I mean, we know for certain that Yeshua was a common name, like "James" still is today, we know for certain that there were plenty of apocalyptic preachers running around, and we know that the Romans executed people on the cross by the zillions. It's almost inconceivable that there wasn't someone who fit the general life story. And that's what you're saying - that there was no Jewish apocalyptic preacher executed by Rome who later became the basis for Christianity.

There were apocalyptic preachers who were executed by Rome, some of them were even called Jesus. They even had followers. People even listened to them.

What i am saying is that the gospels have nothing to do with these people. Im even saying 'gnostic' christianity has nothing to do with them.

Nothing in the gospels, needs a 1st Century Jesus to explain them. Nothing in 'gnosticism' needs a 1st century Jesus to explain them. Both forms were fully functional before the 1st Century.

Of all history, the remaining actual physical historical "Jesus'" were little else but Roman agitators, terrorists and hippies. They might have been good people, had a few followers etc, spoke wise words etc etc, but they are nothing to do with "Christianity" or "gnosis". The only thing they have in common, is having the name "Jesus"

Quote:

It's not just a search for truth, it's a search for some crazy invention that makes the "journey" all the more worthwhile for them.

And thats why I ultimately reject gnosis. I dont think its a bad thing, but to me, it is just another "Matrix" for the people who were wise enough to escape from the first.

There are alot of truths in gnosis, but at the end of the day, you have 'invented' a place for yourself where you feel safe by knowing you know more than everyone else. Its a kind of intelligent elitism, smugness, and arrogance.

I quite like gnosis, and its fun to explore, and you can contemplate and philosophize until you disappear up your own ass (allegoricall speaking!) walking that path. All things Im quite fond of as a matter of fact. But someday you realise it for what it is, and it isn't the truth. Just a position less false. But its not the 'least' false position.

Sooner or later you have to face the truth (known as the least false position you are capable of!), yet it in itself is the most ridiculous explanation!, yet the ridiculous is the obvious and the simplest - that there is no God, and you have not the slightest explaination for the reasons of existance. Knowing you know nothing. Its the only truth there is.
post #88 of 89
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
Fundamentalism: there is no-one more fundamentalist than me if it comes to adhering to the original pure form of things and I am proud to be one in the real sense. However, this is a word which is much abused by the twin idiots that plague our blighted lives in this time: the media and the literalists.

I often use the term in a derogatory sense as a stand in for literalists because it amuses me to annoy them and I find it ironic. I would much prefer to enter into intelligent and rational debate with them but they are not capable of this - so I call them fundies when really I am a fundie and they are not. They are just literalists incapable of free-thought.

The very people who have polluted all real and beautiful religious frameworks from day one whatever the tradition in fact.

Yes, but these are just 'words' and 'labels' we use as common ground so we understand what we are talking about. In context - I know who you are, you know who I am, we both know that common-ground we are talking about - lets not suddenly redefine the common ground to make ourselves feel clever.

Quote:

I say this - and don't take this the wrong way - because I have come to suspect you are of their number. You are not a religionist for sure, but I'm suspecting you are some breed of literalist and this is why you cannot countenance a historical Jesus: because that to you would validate the Church.

I cant take it the wrong way, because I fully understand the statement to be false, infact its so false I find it only amusing.

What you're really claiming is a lack of imagination and refinement of spirituality or contemplation in how we can take all these false things and make something true and just out of them to purely reflect the essence of what Jesus is. So mote it be! But youre wrong!

What we'll never know, despite even infinite contemplation of eachothers position, is what is really in our hearts that drives us to make the arguments we do. Only you and I can ever know fully ourselves.

Yet, as far as I can possible know, I know why it is you speak of Jesus, the disciples, the gospels, favourably, despite knowing everything I know - and more - about them being false from the POV of common understanding of them.

As with BRussel and yourself, my argument with you, is only about how we best deal with these untruths, not particularly with the untruths themselves. As i've said, if you follow Jesus, thats fine with me, but I know, you know the truth about Jesus. My argument about Jesus is with the people who claim to follow Jesus, but don't know who he was and what he represents.

That Jesus, never existed and never will. That Jesus (gospel) is an astrological motif. Gnostic Jesus is a spiritual motif, neither of which ever existed, or needed to exist in the flesh in the 1st Century as a catalyst for a religious movement.

Josephus' Jesus' were agitators, terrorists and hippies. Unless you think otherwise - then I would be happy to hear your opinion, these Jesus' have nothing to do with Christianity, either Orthodox or gnostic.

So do we speak of Jesus knowing who he was - "favourably" to try to keep alive the spark of wisdom he bought, knowing that 99% of people will never understand it, and unwittingly give credibility to the 'lies' told about him.

or do we try to keep alive the spark of 'wisdoms' the world needs as 'personified' by the character of Jesus, and tell the truth that 'literally' Jesus did not exist in the 1st Century as an historical figure?

Quote:

But on: Apollonius of Tyana is also one of my favourite characters of history. I have no insight into his place in any 'mystery' but - in my warped view - he is of the same metaphorical lineage of Jesus.

In his memoirs (great read btw) Casanova - I think it was Casanova - perhaps Bellini - claims to have successfully summoned the ghost of Apollonius in a ritual in Rome's Coliseum. Interesting idea.

I've recently postulated that Apollonius and Paul are highly connected - if not the same entity - be then historical people , semi-mythical, or entirely mythical. So far I have no definitive 'answer' other than my position of 'faith' on the matter. I would agree that "he is of the same metaphorical lineage of Jesus", but i'd like you to help me out a little.
post #89 of 89
And heres why I am right.

There are 2 possible outcomes to this.

The first is that there is a position of 'faith'. The further you go down this path, the more knowledge to have to dismiss - infact the highest position of 'faith' is that of having rejected all knowledge and believe only in God. Knowledge can only serve to reduce 'faith' because it forces questions about 'what God is'. The end path of this route is 100% faith, 0% knowledge.

The second is the path of 'knowledge'. The further you go down this path, the more faith you have to dismiss. The highest position of knowledge is having rejected all faith in God, because it only serves to undermine what knowledge is. The end path of this route is 0% faith, 100% knowledge.

Now the uber-smart person, is the one who realises why both end points are the same state of mind.

He who has faith in knowing he knows nothing but knows he has faith in no faith is God.
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