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Night Shade Books
Posted on Friday, April 22, 2005 - 11:59 am:   

Bush is evil, Fox is evil, The Pope is the antichrist. Or whatever. Get it out of your system here.

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Mastadge
Posted on Friday, April 22, 2005 - 12:03 pm:   

deadhorse
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R.Wilder
Posted on Friday, April 22, 2005 - 02:11 pm:   

I used to think that Condi was evil, but then I found out we shop at the same newsstand.
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T Andrews
Posted on Friday, April 22, 2005 - 03:51 pm:   

The Canadian government is about to topple. I know, not very exciting. All the same, it has me pissed off and worried. Yesterday our Prime Minister took to the airwaves to beg for more time before the axe comes down. Quite a phenomenal thing, in itself, for us Canadians.
Okay, thanks for the space...oh yeah, the evil part: Stephen Harper is the anti-Christ. :-)

Mastage: great picture, though awfully grosse ...
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T Andrews
Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 06:34 pm:   

Just when I thought I couldn't become any more cynical....along comes Belinda Stronach. Oooh, the cartoonists are having fun tonight.
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Jack C. Daniels
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 11:39 am:   

The U.S. economy is almost dead with decent-paying jobs having been sent overseas. "Street-gangs," according to the media, have infiltrtated and stained not only every large city but also every small town, hamlet, and village extant as well.

When this society has descended to the life-style of some Caribbean nation (no economy) and street gangs rule after the govt has confiscated all firearms, then the outcome is obvious -- a society of peasants at the mercy of maniacs. Gun confiscation, a favorite of the other Party, has the option of being activated in these so-called Patriot Acts. Those opposed to firearm ownership will object the loudest to what is coming and thus will be eliminated by "this system of things."

The corporate government, now running America, has transported technology and jobs (to pay smaller wages) overseas to upgrade the status of the rest of the world therby expanding the profitable market to the rest of the world (and vastly increasing their profits), while saying to hell with America.

Street gangs, proliferated by design of American Imperialists, (The New American Century, as they call it) are intended to serve as a no-cost means for the imperialists to keep "the average citizen" under control (via terror keeping them distracted.) Those who have had decent lives snatched away from them, tend to be rather militant. A ban on all firearms will force citizens to knuckle under and abide their crap life-styles while the suk-wad imperialists go on their merry way gathering wealth and power worldwide.

The imperialists referred to are reptiles in the fact that they (as does most of humanity) operate under the aegis of the reptile-brain (called the "R-complex" in neuroscience.) The rep. brain was the only brain of the earliest dinosaurs (and even earlier giant amphibians.) It was passed down to the early mammals in activated mode and on to the latest mammal -- man. Humanity still kow-tows to its whims. The most blatant examples of individuals who live according to its whims can be found in two places -- prisons and corporate boardrooms. Think that its merely a coincidence that the boardroom basturds constantly proclaim -- "its a jungle out there" and "only the meat-eaters rule the world!?"

Opposed to this fact because you had to read too much regarding this message? One day soon "reading too much" will be the least of your worries. Surviving from day to day will be your only worry!

By the way, while I have no belief in/use for churchianity, the reptile brain is "the mark of the beast" of "Revelations."

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al duncan
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2005 - 02:04 am:   

No, the "mark of the beast" is a wee black smudge that looks a bit like Mother Theresa from the right angle.

Either that or the umlaut. I've always been supicious of the umlaut.
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Thomas R.
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 05:02 am:   

A peculiar story that mixes politics, religion, and maybe the suspicious nature of the umlaut from Reuters.


quote:

German police said on Saturday they had arrested a drunken 43-year-old man who fired at least 10 shots from an air rifle at the campaign stand for the conservative Christian Democrats in the town of Sinsheim.

One 58-year-old campaign volunteer was shot in the hand and injured slightly, police in Heidelberg said. The man fired the shots from a window of a nearby house and hit posters and three balloons on the CDU information stand.

The campaign stand was set up for the local member of parliament, Bernd Schmidtbauer. He was not at the stand at the time of the shooting. He was on his way there.

Police said the sniper had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19, nearly four times the 0.05 legal limit to drive a vehicle.


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Thomas R.
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2005 - 08:56 pm:   


quote:

"I pay tribute to Mugabe." The Venezuelan president added: "The president of Zimbabwe is made out to be a villain - because he takes land from those who don't need it to give it to those who need it to live." Hugo Chavez

"Must we allow these men(Bush and Blair), the two unholy men of our millennium, who in the same way as Hitler and Mussolini formed their unholy alliance, formed an alliance to attack an innocent country?" Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe


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paulw
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 04:21 am:   

Just because Chavez is sometimes an idiot and Mugabe at all times a monster does not mean that Bush and Blair are not guilty of crimes that are quite bad enough to stand up on their own without facile comparisons to Hitler and Mussolini.
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nightshades is for nutters
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 06:19 am:   

If Chavez praises Mugabe he is more than a "sometimes" idiot, he is a full-time idiot and a thug, since only a thug would praise a thug like Mugabe.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 06:27 am:   

Rumsfeld praised Saddam Hussein. Does that make him a thug? Well...yes. A lame-ass thug who sends younger, poorer men to do his thugging. But your logic is spotty....
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Thomas R.
Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 08:00 am:   

Hugo Chavez is the fairly and democratically elected leader of Venezuela so I'm not saying he's a thug/tyrant. In least he's not yet and hopefully won't be.

I think there are some things about him that are worrisome. What worries me more is that anyone, good or bad, could get to the point of being so angry at the US they'd defend Mugabe.
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nightshades is for nutters
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 06:21 am:   

how about this from Chavez?

"Speaking at a rehabilitation center on December 24, the controversial left-wing president said “the descendants of those who crucified Christ... have taken ownership of the riches of the world, a minority has taken ownership of the gold of the world, the silver, the minerals, water, the good lands, petrol, well, the riches, and they have concentrated the riches in a small number of hands."

http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/000625.html
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simon
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 07:15 am:   

Yes that's a crazy thing to say. 20% of the world's population owns 80% of its wealth but its nothing to do with the Jews. So yes crazy. But then Bush thinks God speaks to him personally about foreign policy. They're both elected politicians (one perhaps more fairly than the other), they're both accountable (one more than the other perhaps). What's the problem? People don't like it they can vote them out of office (unless they live in Florida, are black and have the same surname as a felon of course).
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Abdul
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 08:56 am:   

Who said anything about the Jews? I thought the Romans crucified Christ.
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simon
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 09:06 am:   

That did occur to me - let's blame inequality on the Italians! :-) However having apparently betrayed him the Jews usually get the blame even if they didn't actually hammer in the nails. Prejudice - never less than inventive.
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Trashhauler
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 01:08 am:   

As usual, the military had the dubious honor of cleaning up a political mess. Such is the way of things - the Romans' intent was simply to keep a lid on things, promote stability, rule of law, and whatnot. A fractious, hostile bunch of locals took advantage of that to get rid of a troublesome radical. Such things have probably happened in every empire that ever existed.
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simon
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 06:13 am:   

Well indeed. It was common punishment for common troublemakers. And Jesus as a troublesome rabblerouser was not being unusually punished. Its a particular shame (understating the case somewhat), though, that this particular result of local religious and political in-fighting became the excuse for two millenia of anti-semitism.
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Lawrence A
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 06:36 am:   

yeah and Jesus was born of a virgin too 'cause I read it in THE BOOK, well in Matthew and Luke, not mentioned by John, Mark or Paul (guess virgin births are true of all those Greek heros like Castor, Pollux, Helen, Theseus, Hercules, Perseus, Bellaraphon etc who were aso conceived by the divine power impregnating mere mortals, Zeus in this case) Or is it one set of rules for Hellenic myths and another set of rules for the myth that is one's own background? Oh am I supposed to say religion here? A MYTH so obviously influenced by Hellenic and pagan myths of fertility and rebirth and sacrifice.

Matthew says that Herod, in an attempt to kill the newborn Messiah, had all the male children two years old and under put to death in Bethlehem and its environs, and that this was in fulfillment of prophecy of a predicted messiah in Jeremiah. Guess it's true then even though not a single historian of the period including Josephus who lists Herod's lengthy crimes never mentions this. It's invented crapola. And Jeremiah never made any such prediction. The context of Jeremiah 31:15 makes it clear that the weeping is for the Israelites about to be taken into exile in Babylon, and has nothing to do with slaughtered children hundreds of years later.

And then Jesus returned to earth in a PHYSICAL body, to visit his disciples AFTER HE DIED, guess it's true cause it's in THE BOOK. And then Judas hanged himself in shame later OR he died after falling in his field he or the chief priests had bought, depends on whether you take it from Matth or Acts, with his thirty pieces of silver. Whichever version makes you happy. Even though silver currency was not used in Judea at the time that concerns us, silver currency had gone out of use two to three hundred years earlier in the region. Unless you know about so-called misinterpreted "prophecies" in the Old Testament you will not know why this contrived blunder is made. A case of backward-looking fabulation that fits "prophecies" after the fact.

But then Christ's death, according to Matthew at least, occasions an earthquake that opened tombs and many people were raised from the dead. For some reason they stayed in their tombs until after Jesus was resurrected, at which time they went into Jerusalem and were seen by many people. Guess it's true then.

And Christ's EMPTY tomb (well it says so in the New Testament so I guess it's true) was visited by an angel, or two men, or one man or two angels or a leprechuan and four unicorns, three centaurs and twelve alien shapeshifting borgs from Alpha Centauri depends on the version you read. According to Luke, Jesus' ascension to heaven took place in Bethany, on the same day as his resurrection but in Acts, Jesus' ascension took place at Mount Olive, forty days after his resurrection.

But then there's only one apostle Judas in Matthew and Mark and suddenly two in Luke and John, and none of you will know why that's so; and Paul makes no mention anywhere of any crucifixion.

I have not even mentioned many contradictions and nonsensicalities about the nativity, early life of Jesus, his genealogy, last supper, arrest and crucifixion proper, more on the resurrection, Herod, Pilate, Jewish customs of the time, the Pharisees, Roman rule and law, the apostles themselves, Barrabus, Paul's conversion, the crucifed robbers even though Romans never crucified robbers ever, and much more.

It's a fucking fairytale GEEZ. Or will you just keep the parts you like, like the crucifixion and ignore all the rest of the fabulation, including the absurd fabulation which incorporates the last supper, betrayal, arrest, Pilate and Barrabus contradictions, (never mind wilful ignorance of Roman rule and procedures in Judea, contemporary Roman and Jewish accounts/histories) and that is all inseperable from the crucifixion itself, even though it all comes from the same sources that talk about virgin births or not, resurrections and empty tombs and the walking dead and mutually negating contradictions too numerous to mention?

And talk about missing the fucking point, namely Chavez is a lame-brain. And straw-man arguments attacking Bush and Rumsfeld don't change the fact that Chavez is off his rocker. And he ought to be committed to psychiatric care along with his fanclub.

there's another point that you all, along with lame-brain Chavez naturally enough, miss entirely and it has to do with the obvious illogic at the heart of the betrayal by Judas and subsequent crucifixion/sacrifice of the divine son for humanity that follows inexorably from said betrayal, and is in turn at the heart of Christian myth. Let's see if any of you, so convinced you can think for yourselves, unlike the happy clappys, can figure out what the obvious illogic is here? Come think.

Let me spell it out for you 'cause I know most all of you are none too bright. Why is Judas/the Jews/Romans or whoever you want to blame for the supposed betrayal and arrest of Christ and thus subsequent death, blamed at all? That is why the vilification/anger/outrage/finger pointing for those who supposedly are responsible for Jesus' arrest? Does this make any sense, that is does the "who is to blame?" finger pointing make any sense whatsover in light of the very central core/seed/heart of Christian belief - the very foundation on which Christian dogma and the Church is built?

THINK. It's really very easy to see, it stares you in the face. It's why people don't see it. It's too obvious. If any of the above posters knew what it was there would be none of the whining comments above about who really killed Christ. my god it's like arguing about who killed the dragon, St George or the fairy folk.

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simon
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 08:25 am:   

Oh lordy (as it were), here we go again.

Lawrence can you not see how misplaced your ire is? How pointless your evident glee at being able to spew out detail is? You're the one missing the point and your own anger at the apparant blindness of others to your 'self evident' truth is getting in the way of seeing what everyone else is on about.

I'm not a Christian, don't believe in God. Find it as impossible to get personally more worked up over who killed one individual 2000 years ago than I can over who killed anyone else back whenever.

What I can get worked up about is that anyone's death and the subsequent bickerings about who betrayed who should be used by people as an excuse for pitiless and foul prejudice and scapegoating, while espousing the virtue of forgiveness.

You're the one here who can't see the wood for the trees.

As for Chavez. A lame brain? Quite possibly. But as in my original point an elected lame brain and just like all the other elected lame brains there's room to do something about it if you don't like it.

And you put Chavez up as a straw man in order to point out the sad gullibity of lefties the world over so don't accuse me of making straw man arguments by attacking Bush.

Its perfectly possible that Bush is a victim of the consensus politics of the Nightshades board. So effing what? I'm sure he's terrified. The dead hand of the media consensus in the modern western democracies laid heavily on any dissenting voice is much more worrying.
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Lawrence A
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 09:05 am:   

Simon like I said I know most of you people are not the brightest.

what straw man with Chavez? Chavez is a twit and therefore so are his fans, where's the straw man?

your last paragraph is another red herring, anything to detract attention away from Chavez and the crimes and stupidities of your fellow lefties, hey Simon. And it doesn't even make any sense, what media consensus?

You guys are like a stuck record, every time somebody points out what a bunch of wankers so many well-known so-called liberals are, you response is Bush lied people died, Cheney is a prick blababla - straw fucking man gettit?

and by the vey fact you write:

--------------------------------------

Find it as impossible to get personally more worked up over who killed one individual 2000 years ago than I can over who killed anyone else back whenever.

What I can get worked up about is that anyone's death and the subsequent bickerings about who betrayed who should be used by people as an excuse for pitiless and foul prejudice and scapegoating, while espousing the virtue of forgiveness.

-------------------------------

means you really don't get the point I'm making whatsoever. I mean it sails over your head entirely. I know people here aren't Christian in the usual or religious sense, that wasn't the point of my post which you missed entirely. My ire is not misplaced. You miss the point.

Come Simon if you are as smart as you think you are, come up with the answer to the illogic at the heart of the Passion, the illogic of the vilification and demonisation of the
"betrayers/Christ-killers" of the crucified messiah, that I allude to in the last 3 paragraphs of my first post.

I mean if the consequences of the Christian Passion Play so bother you.

I'm waiting....
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simon
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 10:16 am:   

Ah sh . . . Just deleted my reply by mistake.

Can I be arsed to type it all out again? Not really I mean, what's the point.

But it went something like this.

Bemusement that Lawrence can't see that his proud libertarian intellectual insight boils down to little more than an understanding of the fact that people on the left bitch about people in power who are on the right and people on the right bitch about people in power on the left.

Bemusement that Lawrence spends all this time ranting about the illogicality of religion in general and the bible in particular to people he acknowledges probably dont care.

Bemusement that Lawrence chooses to flail about wondering why Christians just can't see the illogicality of getting worked up over the death of Christ when according to their own beliefs he was just going home to dad and an eternity of bliss when what he should really be flailing around about is the fact that illogicality aside 2 millenia of prejudice and one holocaust happened as a result.

Bemusement that Lawrence doesn't believe that there is an overwhelming media consensus in support of the status quo that is conservative(sic) at best and horrendously Conservative(sic)at worst.
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Thomas R.
Posted on Friday, January 06, 2006 - 04:54 pm:   

There was a UCLA study that indicated the Media would get a 61% at Americans for Democratic Action. This is in the range that the ADA places as moderate. Sort of the range that Robert Byrd and Lincoln Chafee are in. In other words somewhat Right-wing from the perspective of most Democrats, who average in the 80s, and strongly Left-wing from the perspective of most Republicans(who average in the teens). From the perspective here it depends. If you view Chafee or Byrd as to the Right than the media is to the Right from your perspective.

On Chavez he's loony and the defense he tends to get here is weird. Disturbing he'd go for Anti-Semitism, but that's in vogue in oil rich nations and maybe he just wants to fit in with the rest of the OPEC leaders. All that said he was fairly elected and presumably will have to give up power at some point. Although there are cases in the past of elected leaders declaring themselves President for life so he deserves watching. That said no matter how unpleasant he is there's not much to be done. If we started sanctioning rulers for being Anti-Semitic and unscrupulous we'd have to sanction more than half the Muslim world.

On Lawrence he really dislikes all religion. The raving on that would be upsetting, but it's not odd or surprising from him. I doubt he's really singling out Christians either as he is many many religions he loathes. It's just his view and everyone is a bigot about something.
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Trashhauler
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 08:40 am:   

Lawrence A wrote:
_________
Why is Judas/the Jews/Romans or whoever you want to blame for the supposed betrayal and arrest of Christ and thus subsequent death, blamed at all? That is why the vilification/anger/outrage/finger pointing for those who supposedly are responsible for Jesus' arrest? Does this make any sense, that is does
the "who is to blame?" finger pointing make any sense whatsover in light of the very central core/seed/heart of Christian belief - the very foundation on which Christian dogma and the Church is built?
____________

This is a very good observation. It is not Christian at all to blame anyone for Christ's death, which, after all, is believed to be the fulfillment of prophecy. Past pronouncements of Jewish responsibility were influenced by the concept of collective guilt, combined with a human disapproval of those who supposedly heard Jesus' Word and yet did not follow His Path. Neither idea has much traction in formal Christian teaching today, though it is still found in the less intellectual Christian sects.
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 12:24 pm:   

Just a speculation: when the Jesus stories were being written and rewritten, edited and conflated, by generations of proselytizers and polemicists, in the centuries after the alleged events occurred, there was a political situation in the Roman Empire that we ought to take into account. The Jews had revolted against the Romans (who were not there to keep stability, but to loot the place). The revolt had been unsuccessful; the Jews had been slaughtered, their capital city sacked and depopulated, and the survivors dispersed all over the Empire, where they were not well regarded because they rejected the Roman concept of religion as a civic duty.

Against that background, it made a lot more sense to blame the despised minority rather than the Roman tax-farmer who ordered the founder of the religion to be crucified. Later, when Christianity became the official religion of the Empire, there was every reason for the bishops and popes to carry on blaming the Jews. it made things a lot easier for everybody -- except, of course, the Jews, but nobody was much interested in making things easier for them.

It's surprising that we, who live in a culture in which virtually every utterance is parsed for its political pedigree, can somehow expect the inhabitants of the Roman Empire in the second, third and fourth centuries -- where political failure meant torturous execution -- to have been neutral reporters of the events that motivated their agenda.

As for the overlooking of inconsistencies in religious texts, hasn't anyone noticed that people tend to believe what they want to believe, regardless of evidence to the contrary? I mean, that's the whole basis of modern political science, isn't it -- feed your base what they want to hear, while demonizing the opposition?

Matt Hughes
Black Brillion now in paperback
The Gist Hunter & Other Stories now in stores
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Trashhauler
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 09:07 am:   

Matt Hughes wrote:
____________

Just a speculation: when the Jesus stories were being written and rewritten, edited and conflated, by generations of proselytizers and polemicists, in the centuries after the alleged events occurred, there was a political situation in the Roman Empire that we ought to take into account. The Jews had revolted against the Romans (who were not there to keep stability, but to loot the place).
____________

Matt has pointed out a much-ignored fact that influenced many acts of "religious-inspired" perfidy. During the latter part of the Empire, the Church became another source of legitimacy for Rome. After the fall, the Church not only assumed temporal power in many places, but also served as the source of legitimacy for all temporal rulers. The suppression of enemies, real and imagined, was no more subtle than the earlier suppression and dispersion of the Jews, all the way through the Thirty Years War and the refusal of Jews to accept full assimilation has always made them targets. We still live with the remnants of Europe's politically-driven, religiously-tinged propaganda today.

But I wonder a bit at your statement that the Romans were only in Palestine to sack the place, Matt. That would have been quite a departure from normal Roman practice. The Roman Empire was not built of simple rapacity, but on acquisition and absorption of territory. Their normal procedure was to exercise overarching control while leaving much of the native society in place. Hence, their decision to leave a Hebrew king in place and allow the local religion to remain in place unmolested. That, at least, was normal procedure, except in those cases where the locals continued in rebellion. The procedure of absorption was gradual, with concentration on establishing defensible borders. I invite you to read Edward Luttwak's "The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire" for the nuts and bolts of how the Empire grew.

The Jews succeeded in becoming such a thorn in the Romans' side that they were subjected to the full measure of murderous imperial sanction. But that's not the way the Romans would have preferred things to happen.
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 10:34 am:   

Trashhauler:

I make a distinction between looting and sacking. Pilate was a tax-farmer, who had bought the right to squeeze all the revenue he could from Judaea. He wanted only as much stability as necessary to collect the sesterces. He wasn't building colonies or infrastructure, and didn't impose a new form of government. He was just there for the money.

Matt Hughes
Black Brillion now in paperback
The Gist Hunter & Other Stories now in stores


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Trashhauler
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 11:58 am:   

Matt,

Well, unfortunately, like the poor, tax collectors will always be with us. I cannot speak to Pilate's personal motivation. I can only state what the normal Roman intent was towards conquered territories. And Roman rule of Judaea didn't end until 638AD, so they musta had something in mind, other than just milking the place.
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Lawrence A
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 12:30 pm:   

Matt Hughes and Trashhauler have both brought up very interesting points, but I would like to get back to the point I was alluding to, asking if anybody could get the absurd illogic at the heart of the Passion, which still has not been answered. Matt and Trashhauler have pointed out ugly historical facts and cynical and strategic realpolitik distortions that shaped the very foundations of what would become the Roman Catholic Church and its self-serving propoganda, but as important as this is, there is a central nonsensicality to the Passion that nobody has pointed out. But I get to that later...

Firstly, I'm not a bigot Thomas, and I do think there are a fair few positives in Christianity, like the sermon on the mount, and other things as well, which unfortunately are lost on the vast majority of Christians and all churches really. I'm not an atheist, I'm not even agnostic.

I'm not going to go off on a tangent on the media and Simon's and the Left's take on it, since that's a whole other issue and I don't think it makes sense to talk of the conservative or liberal media for a number of complex reasons. just don't have the time or inclination to wade into that swamp...

And no Simon you have zero idea about the illogic at the heart of the vilification of "the Christ-killers". You get it all wrong....again, with this reply of yours


quote:

Bemusement that Lawrence chooses to flail about wondering why Christians just can't see the illogicality of getting worked up over the death of Christ when according to their own beliefs he was just going home to dad and an eternity of bliss when what he should really be flailing around about is the fact that illogicality aside 2 millenia of prejudice and one holocaust happened as a result




That's not what I was referring to at all. Even though I'm in 100% agreement with you Simon on what you write. Simon why don't you just admit you don't know instead of playing guessing games and getting it wrong.
Does nobody else out there want to take a shot?

OK one last time, let me put it another way - the Church, that is all Christian churches bar none should praise Judas Iscariot and his supposed accomplices to the skies, Judas should be second only to Christ himself in Christian hagiography. St Peter's at the Vatican should be called St Judas', Judas should be more revered and acclaimed than all the apostles, John the Baptist, and Paul as well, put together. Certainly Judas should be cherished, hailed, lauded and glorified rather than vilified and contemptuously hated.

And an atheist like Simon thinks, unlike the superstitious masses, that he's got it all figured out, but he no more gets the illogic at the heart of the Passion Play than church-goers. Given the above paragraph, I could not make it any clearer.

Somebody out there must know, I mean even at nightshades.... especially now that I have screamed it out.

Trashhauler's first response in his first post, in a very small way comes closer to what I mean. But Trashhauler's first comments also miss what I mean, since he is looking at the relevant quotation of mine from a Christian perspective, interpreting my remarks about the core and heart of Christian belief in a way I didn't intend at all, although this is nobody's fault, just different people with different outlooks will interpret the exact same remarks completely differently. By Christian beliefs, I did not mean the Christian values of compassion and forgiveness, I'm not denying their existence, not at all - I mean though Christian BELIEF/DOGMA. When I talk about the core/heart of Christian belief I mean the belief in the necessary sacrifice of the divine son for the sake of the redemption and salvation of humanity, that's what I mean. One has to look at the Passion from a purely philosophical perspective, where logic and reason above all else is valued; if you look at the Passion, even as an atheist or skeptic of Christianity, on its own terms, that is taking Christianity and its core dogma at face value, you won't get it. That is why even many atheists and anti-Christians in general who despise Christianity, just don't get it, because they argue against the Passion (as Simon does) on its own terms, well to a degree at least. Their criticism, even if accurate and true, and I heartily agree 100% for example with Simon's scathing criticism of the Passion and its horrendous consequences; nevertheless such pithy and lucid critiques of the Passion myth by Simon and most others, is still only a superficial attack. The central absurdity of the Passion is missed entirely.

Nobody on this thread has pointed it out. I actually pointed it out on the Asimov's forum years ago. And at a party I was at about 10 years ago, a boy of about 15 made mention of it to me without me prompting him at all. The problem is being too clever and getting caught in the details and missing the most important one that stares one in the face.

All the above debunking by Simon, Matt and others I am in general agreement with, but it's like when a besieging army storms a castle and they use all their armour and ammunition, their archers and infantry etc, but don't bother to use the most important weaponry they have, like battering rams and mighty catapaults. The most important point/the central absurdity of the Passion on which the other absurdities are built on, like a house of cards, is still left standing and undisturbed by Simon and others.
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Trashhauler
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 01:27 pm:   

Lawrence A wrote:
__________

Matt Hughes and Trashhauler have both brought up very interesting points, but I would like to get back to the point I was alluding to, asking if anybody could get the absurd illogic at the heart of the Passion, which still has not been answered. Matt and Trashhauler have pointed out ugly historical facts and cynical and strategic realpolitik distortions that shaped the very foundations of what would become the Roman Catholic Church and its self-serving propoganda, but as important as this is, there is a central nonsensicality to the Passion that nobody has pointed out.
____________

Lawrence, I apologize if my mentioning historical facts troubled you. I don't view the historical facts as cynical or ugly, they're simply the facts, if often misunderstood . People and institutions usually behave as circumstances dictate, sometimes for good and sometimes badly. Institutions in particular should be considered in the totality of their impact, influence, and development.

I'm still not quite certain what you find absurb about the Christian dogma of Christ's sacrifice, but it really doesn't matter, does it? Belief cannot be coerced and is inevitably subjective, to some degree, at least.

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Matt Hughes
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 01:46 pm:   

Well, looking for logical consistency in myth is like going into an apple orchard hoping to pick a few oranges.

Within its own larger frame of reference, the crucifixion/redemption makes sense: god sets up an impossible set of conditions for humankind, so that virtually all of us will fall into sin and thus be consigned to eternal damnation; to save us from himself, he incarnates himself as a human and pays himself the primitive blood-price that redeems us from his wrath. That solves the problem of the wages of sin being death, with all of us working overtime.

Outside of that frame of reference, it makes no sense at all. God, even before he let there be light, knew that all of this was going to happen but he let it happen anyway. He could have changed the rules right from the beginning, and given us a sensible, orderly universe, where we can all just get along. But he didn't, so he's either an incompetent demiurge, a kind of sorceror's apprentice who screws up and has to patch together a fix-up to a story that didn't go the way he'd intended, or he just doesn't mind if things come across to us as a little confusing. The Book of Job suggests that we should bet on the latter explanation.

Of course, as I've pointed out here and there, I still don't understand why he would incarnate himself as a carpenter out in the sticks, spend most of his life sawing bits of wood, then wander around for a year or two dispensing vague parables without even making sure he had a set of disciples who were writing it down.

I mean, he must have known how much trouble the lack of a definitive testament would cause. But I guess it didn't bother him. I can only assume that omnipotent deities have a different, indeed a unique, perspective on things.

Matt Hughes
Black Brillion now in paperback
The Gist Hunter & Other Stories now in stores
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Trashhauler
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 08:39 pm:   

Matt Hughes wrote:
___________

I can only assume that omnipotent deities have a different, indeed a unique, perspective on things.
___________

Funny, I would have thought that would go without saying. ::grin::
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 10:55 pm:   

Well, god's never minded a little redundancy. Look at all the repetitive phrases in the Bible. And the umpteen different species of beetle.

Matt Hughes
Black Brillion now in paperback
The Gist Hunter & Other Stories now in stores
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Simon
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 06:23 am:   

Oh father Lawrence thank you. Yes I admit it I don't know (There! I feel so much better for admitting my ignorance) and I don't much care. It was a guess, I really haven't looked at the ins and outs of Christian dogma because I don't believe. Christianity, in common with other religions, is full of self-serving clap trap as far as I'm concerned. I'm more agitated by its manifest effects on the world. Which I imagine you are also but its difficult to be sure as once again you're hitting everyone over the head with your 'look at all the stuff I know and which you don't' arrogance.

The Chavaz thing is only another indication of your black/white right/wrong approach where an outrageous simplification of what you imagine everyone elses take on the world to be hijacks any point you have to make.

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Lawrence A
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 12:03 pm:   

I don't have a black/white approach to things Simon. Chavez is a dick, so was Nixon, Verwoed, Pinochet, Reagan and Castro, so is Cheney and Rummy, Mugabe and Osama. If you want to excuse or engage in mealy-mouthed apologetics for Chavez (do you or don't you?), all the worse for you.

You laughably talk about the conservative media in western democracies, talk about a black/white approach that makes no sense, since some of the very same media publications offer views from columnists and journalists holding diametrically opposing political views. Le Monde and the BBC conservative? Some of the stuff on international affairs that appears in the NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and SF Chronicle for example is not out of place on extreme left-wing websites. On business and economic affairs the media is generally (albeit not always) conservative, on political affairs it is far more complex. So who's the one who sees things as black and white?

Seeing all religions as identical, even though yes they are all corrupted and all mired in superstition and pointless ceremony, is certainly a mistake. They are all very different and they all have their own distinct dynamics. Typical of an atheist to tar everything outside of his conviction of the truth of things, with the same brush: God does not exist, therefore all religions are rubbish! You just transfer your black/white worldview onto me Simon. But let us stick to the topic at hand, time is short...

Trashhualer, where do I say or imply I find what you are saying upsetting?? Why on earth would I??

OK here is the illogical absurdity at the heart of the Passion.....

IF the sacrifice of the divine son is absolutely necessary for the sake of the redemption and salvation of humanity, as Christian dogma dictates, if it is not only necessary as the foundation for the Christian faith and the churches built upon it, but as inevitable as the sun's rising and setting, then Christ must be betrayed and arrested, otherwise he is not crucified and hence no sacrifice, and thus no salvation for the believers, no afterlife of eternal bliss. Christ comes to earth with the final, ultimate and inexorable purpose of giving his life on the cross, (as inexorable as salmon swimming upstream to spawn) - of sacrificing his divine self, so as to be reborn anew, resurrected and at the same time this sacrifice and subsequent resurrection pave the way for the spiritual rebirth of humanity, through the mission of the Church - standard Christian cant.

Now everybody knows the above, but its absurdity is missed, namely the implications of the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF THE BETRAYAL OF CHRIST AND HIS ARREST, without which the divine sacrifice for humanity's sake cannot happen, and Christianity as it is cannot exist at all!

Just like without his mother the child cannot be born, without the clouds no rain etc. Without this betrayal and arrest, no crucifixion period. And without the crucifixion there is no sacrifice of the divine messiah for the sake of sinful humanity. There is no Passion in other words, and since the Passion is the keystone of the orthodox Christian faith, without the Passion, Christian dogma falls down...

So it is absolutely necessary that Judas betray his friend, that the "mob" insist on Barrabus's release rather than Jesus', that the Romans go ahead with the crucifixion, NOTHING must stop it otherwise there is no Passion. So Judas's role is central and vital, he cannot be left out, his betrayal is PIVOTAL to the whole drama. None of the other apostles, not John the baptist, not Mary Magdalene, no other person beside Christ himself has as important a role as Judas - for without the others in the cast the Passion can still proceed, it can still go ahead, but without Judas the Passion does not happen at all - no Passion, no Christianity, no Church.

So the question must be asked - what betrayal of Judas? How is it a betrayal? It is not merely that Judas is only playing the role assigned to him, that what he does is part of the whole drama, and he has to do it, play his role, speak the lines he was born to utter, give his kiss of "betrayal" that is not, all his role-playing decided upon by Divinity long before he was born; but much much more than this - HE IS THE VERY CATALYST FOR THE WHOLE PASSION DRAMA. Without him it does not happen, he is the true hero!

He does nothing wrong, NOT AT ALL, he does on the contrary everything right, everything heroic. And more than heroic, for since his "betrayal" is the seed from which the crucifixion and thus sole hope for humanity's spiritual salvation, is the fruit he is more than a hero, he is the true saviour of humanity! He is nothing less than that and the angry mob, the Roman soldiers are lessser partners in the SALVATION of humanity! - at least if your'e a believer.

Let me repeat - Judas is the saviour of humanity, its light and hope as much as Christ, they are equal partners in humanity's redemption! Judas is Christ's twin, not as in good and evil, but as in male and female, night and day, sun and moon, yin and yang. Since without Judas there is no Christianity period. Christ needs Judas's "betrayal" which is not a betrayal at all!, as man needs woman, as night precedes day, as life and death are intertwined. If Christ is the tiger, then Judas, the angry mob, the Romans are the tiger's prey, without which the tiger cannot live!

It would only be a betrayal if Judas did not paradoxically betray Christ! if he does not betray him, there is no arrest and thus no crucifixion and thus no hope of salvation for humankind period. And that would be a betrayal, both of the divine son's mission on earth and ipso facto of humanity itself!

This is why I write above:

OK one last time, let me put it another way - the Church, that is all Christian churches bar none should praise Judas Iscariot and his supposed accomplices to the skies, Judas should be second only to Christ himself in Christian hagiography. St Peter's at the Vatican should be called St Judas', Judas should be more revered and acclaimed than all the apostles, John the Baptist, and Paul as well, put together. Certainly Judas should be cherished, hailed, lauded and glorified rather than vilified and contemptuously hated.

So Judas no more "betrays" Christ then a deer betrays the tiger by being killed and eaten by it, than night betrays day, than the ocean betrays the land, than electricity betrays magnetism; they are intertwined, dependent on each other for their very existence.

Speaking of the "evil" of Judas, his betrayal, the evil of the mob, the Roman soldiers makes no sense, even on Christianity's own terms. It is like speaking of the "evil" of volcanos, as they spew out their lava wreaking death and destruction, destroying forests, animals and people. Without volcanos the earth would be like the moon, dead - no plants, no animals, no people complaining about the havoc that volcanos wreak in the first place.

Whining about who is more to "blame" for the crucifixion, the Romans or the Jews is thus at bottom silly, completely nonsensical and absurdist, since "blame" here rests on the assumption that the absurd self-contradiction of the Passion is in fact neither absurd nor a self-contradiction. On the Passion's own Christian terms it is a self-contradiction!

It means taking the Christian crucifixion at face value as logically coherent, internally consistent and more or less factual, when it simply is not and cannot be so, even at face value. The rationale for the Christian Passion is worse than inconsistent, it falls flat on its own terms, it is self negating according to its own rationale! It collapses in on itself according to its own raison-d'etre. The Passion all falls apart by virtue of what it is! Its very "reasoning" is unreason itself.

In other words whining about who is more to blame for Christ's death is like whinging about whether, if the lion killed a zebra or a gazelle, the zebra or the gazelle is more to BLAME for sustaining the lion! And then everybody arguing about whether the gazelle or zebra should come in for opprobrium and disdain for giving life to the lion, the lion we all insist on having its natural right to hunt and LIVE (as we should)!!

And so the Passion is not merely logically inconsistent on its own terms, it is worse than that. It is a self-contradiction that collapses in on itself entirely. It is its own reductio ad absurdum.

This is why when Mel Gibson's movie 'The Passion of the Christ' came out, most everybody missed the fucking point. All this supposedly sophisticated critique and dismissal of Mel's movie by the Ivy League historians, the "progressive" media, the rabbis, priests, secular academics, film reviewers and journalists misses the point (as much as harping on about Mel's dad's Holocaust denial misses the bloody point)! They no more get the Passion's self-contradiction than zombie Mel does!

So if we take the Passion seriously on its own terms, then it should be a case of not who to BLAME for the crucifixion - the Romans, the Jews, Judas and to what degree the BLAME should be meted out to each party; BUT who to PRAISE and give APPRECIATION, SANCTION, BLESSING and LAUDATION to, and to what degree this ENCOMIUM should be given to the Romans, Jews and Judas himself!

Those who get what I just pointed out, are not given a voice in the MSM, nor academia for the most part, they are not allowed to point fingers at the naked emperor. They are not interviewed on CNN, not mentioned in the NY Times, not salon. It is because the FACTS on the mad illogic at the heart of Christian dogma is not only too obvious to be seen, especially by those so fooled by their own cleverness; but too subversive and threatening to a society that does not want anybody pointing out some obvious stupidities which are central/at the root of too many of its so-called values, it opens up a Pandora's box.... even among those professing a secular worldview. Other assumptions may have to be questioned as well, and anyhow you just cannot upset the faithful, not just in North America, but around the world...

If some people out there still don't get it, well you can take the horse to the water....



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JV
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 01:07 pm:   

Evil Monkey: Hmm. Jeff--this Lawrence guy. Should me and some of my monkey friends pay him a visit.

Jeff: No.

Evil Monkey: But he's itchin' for a beatin'!

Jeff: He'd just talk you to death, Evil. It's not worth it.
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 01:16 pm:   

Lawrence:

I suppose it falls to me to be the one to point out the bleeding obvious: myth is not required to make rational sense. People do not address such matters with their prefrontal lobes, but with older, deeper circuitry. When the Hopi say that humankind originally all emerged from a hole in the earth, it is not necessary for anyone to identify the particular hole or get a rundown on what we were doing before we popped out of it. When the Salish tell the story of how Seagull stole the Sun and hid it in a box, the teller of the tale need not explain how the laws of physics are overcome.

Judaeo/Christian mythology is chock full of massive internal contradictions, like God enlisting Moses as his prime prophet then immediately rushing to destroy him because he isn't circumcised. Like creating a devil to mislead his beloved children into eternal damnation. Like an omniscient deity wandering around the Garden of Eden saying, "Adam, where are you?" Like laying out the entire strategy for the end of the world right where Satan can see it. Or Balaam's talking ass, or the Tower of Babel, or Samson's strength being magically bound up in the length of his flowing locks.

Anybody's who given the matter a moment's thought realizes that Judas is as indispensible to the crucifixion/redemption story as Jesus. No light without dark, no yin without yang. It's just that the issue is entirely irrelevant to what believers get out of the myth, which is definitely not a sense that the universe is built on perfect, logical, straight-edged, zero-sum symmetry.

It's not that the unenlightened masses can't see your brilliant discovery. It's just that it doesn't mean squat.

Matt Hughes
Black Brillion now in paperback
The Gist Hunter & Other Stories now in stores
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Lawrence A
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 02:02 pm:   

Wow Jeff your level of intellectual discourse never ceases to amaze me. If you have something to say, say it. Don't give all these dark hints, then back off.

You have no idea how you have left yourself so exposed on some topics, over the last year or so here at nightshades on at least two threads I know of, Jeff. And I let it ride, letting you off the hook, having better things to do with my time, believe it or not. After all you are hardly the only one, and I don't have the time nor inclination to bring up old flames. Do you? Do you even want to?

You are way too clueless to have any idea how you have waded into quicksand several times...

However if push comes to shove Jeff, I will revive some forgotten threads and proceed to pummel you to the ground and bury you.

You want to talk tough Jeff? On politics, theology, science, you're not even an amateur, you are so lightweight it ain't funny.

What I write in my post above is SOLID, either you get it or you don't. You have a problem Jeff, out with it or go back to writing your fantasy tales. Stick to what you know.

Next time Jeff I won't be so nice.... I'm not Thomas R nor Murphy Jeff, don't you know that by now? You want to play hardball, anytime you lightweight puffball.

I'm betting you're a lousy poker player Jeff. Only bluff when your opponent has no idea if you are bluffing or not, otherwise it ain't a bluff. Gettit?

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JV
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 02:12 pm:   

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JeffV

Evil Monkey: Really, Jeff. C'mon. Let me at him.

Jeff: Naw. He's right. I'm not an expert on those things. I do, however, know a windbag when I see one.

Evil Monkey: He called you a lightweight puffball.

Jeff: It's okay. It's kind of funny, actually.

Evil Monkey: Did you have a serious point to make, though?

Jeff: Yeah--just that Lawrence goes on and on in his posts so that there's just no way to assimilate even half of what he says. If he could contain himself to perhaps two or three paragraphs at a time, it might be possible to have what in some circles might be considered a discussion.

Evil Monkey: Bored today?

Jeff: Yeah.
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Lawrence A
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 02:29 pm:   

No Matt the unenlightened masses can't see it at all. If they did they would not vilify and demonise Judas, the Jews or the Roman soldiers in the first place. Duh. And myth does need to have internal consistency and coherence, otherwise it is meaningless even on its own terms, even as metaphor. So no Matt you are dead wrong. You really don't get it either, sigh.

Yes the masses get Judas's importance in the drama, I mention all this, but they don't see the illogic of vilifying the so-called betrayer when he should be lauded and praised. They don't SEE THAT THERE IS NO BETRAYAL AT ALL. THEY DON'T SEE THAT JUDAS AND THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHRIST'S DEATH ARE HEROES, SAVIOURS EVEN, NOT VILLAINS. That's the bloody point, which Matt doesn't get at all. The internal contradiction of the Passion Play is lost on them, OBVIOUSLY.

If they really got it, which they don't, they would not be Christian in the orthodox sense at all. Because they would see the Passion's absurdity for what it is, and once one sees it, one cannot take the Passion seriously, not literally, not even as a friggin' metaphor.

getttit? no you don't.

Matt you don't show yourself up in a positive light at all with that post of yours. Read what I write again, and THINK. Maybe you'll get it eventually but then again maybe you just never will.

I fear Jeff was thinking along the same thoughtless lines.
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Lawrence A
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 02:35 pm:   

Yeah I was right about Jeff being as thoughtless as Matt. You people are really not the brightest.

Sigh.

Like I said you can take the horse to water, but if the horses are called Matt and Jeff, they don't take a drink and tell you there ain't nothing but sand there.

later
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A Man Called Horse
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 02:52 pm:   

Yeah, and you can lead me to water and I'll tell you there ain't nothing but shit, which is the only place you'll lead anybody.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 03:09 pm:   

Jeff, I peg you as more in middleweight-super middleweight range.
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James M. Pfundstein
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 03:30 pm:   

Under the heading These are not new thoughts, see: Borges, "Three Versions of Judas." Any further comment is probably just casting swirls before pine, but:

Lawrence A. seems to assume that moral judgements should be based on the results of actions. But that's not part of the mad illogical Christian dogma. Sin is in the intention, so that if Judas valued Jesus (or anybody, for that matter) as worth less than a bag of coins, and acted accordingly, he may be condemned even though his actions led indirectly to some good. That God can make good result from evil (with one anthropomorphic hand tied behind his back) does not justify people who choose evil. It's not illogical; it's just based on a set of premises you may not accept.

If Lawrence A. had really been around the block on this he would have come across the idea that Judas' real sin is not his betrayal of Jesus but his suicide: he despairs of God's forgiveness. (This goes back at least to Augustine, I think.)

As for what would have happened if Judas hadn't betrayed Jesus, if no one had: we don't know what would have happened. We can write fiction about it (if it amuses us to do so) but we can't cite it as evidence in an argument.

All right, Mr. Demille, I'm ready for my lion.

JM("Mass/Energy is Eternal Delight")P
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smarter than lawrence
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 03:53 pm:   

Ironically, Lawrence is completely mistaken. if he were truly intelligent, he would realize that there is no contradiction in considering Judas' actions a betrayal. Do you think he can figure out where he went wrong in his thinking? I'm betting not.
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 05:38 pm:   

Goodby, Lawrence. Best of luck.

Matt Hughes
Black Brillion now in paperback
The Gist Hunter & Other Stories now in stores
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Trashhauler
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 10:27 pm:   

I thought Lawrence's idea of absurdity was going to be a bit more subtle. Mr. Pfundstein covered Lawrence's objection with the traditional answer.

I wonder a bit at folks who seem to forget that Christian philosophers and theologists have had about two thousand years to ponder the contradictions and puzzles. There are very few fields left untilled, biblically-speaking. It just takes a bit of rooting around to find what's been written about something.

That doesn't mean all the answers are going to satisfy, though. Now, if Lawrence had chosen the apparent contradiction of free will and the fulfillment of phrophecy, he mighta had something to chew on awhile.
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Trashhauler
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 11:11 pm:   

And without much digging, here's some Roman Catholic thought on the subject of Judas:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08539a.htm

An couple excerpts:

"...[T]extual difficulties and questions of detail fade into insignificance beside the great moral problem presented by the fall and treachery of Judas. In a very true sense, all sin is a mystery. And the difficulty is greater with the greatness of the guilt, with the smallness of the motive for doing wrong, and with the measure of the knowledge and graces vouchsafed to the offender. In every way the treachery of Judas would seem to be the most mysterious and unintelligible of sins."

and further,

"...[I]t may be urged that in exaggerating the original malice of Judas, or denying that there was even any good in him, we minimize or miss the lesson of this fall. The examples of the saints are lost on us if we think of them as being of another order without our human weaknesses. And in the same way it is a grave mistake to think of Judas as a demon without any elements of goodness and grace. In his fall is left a warning that even the great grace of the Apostolate and the familiar friendship of Jesus may be of no avail to one who is unfaithful. And, though nothing should be allowed to palliate the guilt of the great betrayal, it may become more intelligible if we think of it as the outcome of gradual failing in lesser things. So again the repentance may be taken to imply that the traitor deceived himself by a false hope that after all Christ might pass through the midst of His enemies as He had done before at the brow of the mountain. And though the circumstances of the death of the traitor give too much reason to fear the worst, the Sacred Text does not distinctly reject the possibility of real repentance."

Apparently, it isn't considered very cool to demonize Judas Iscariot. Or, at least, in 1910, it wasn't.
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simon
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 01:46 am:   

Lawrence.

First I said you saw things in a black and white way, not via a left right perspective. As when you said, in another thread, that Pilger was 'black' and then went on to say, when pulled up on Pilger's earlier reputation, that yes he had done some good stuff in the past. Hence Pilger's reputation becomes, by your admission 'greyed' somewhat. Its the sense I get from you that you give no-one else any credit for bringing a brain to the party and being able to decide when someone is right or wrong on particular issues whether or not they feel they are usually generally right or generally wrong. You're like an unamusing version of '1066 and all that that' making blanket statements about people being good or bad things.

And yes I did say religions are full of self serving clap trap as far as I'm concerned. They are. Some religious ideas however are more damaging than others, some religions have had a beneficial effect on the world in some ways, a damaging one in others. It's all quite grey again. But many religions do have a world view, an ethical approach that is, almost by definition, self serving. And in that most religions base this on a supernatural being I, as someone who doesn't believe in the supernatural would be forced to think that was claptrap.

Media? You're right, way too big an issue. But I think you have to make a clear distinction between opinion pieces and columnists and the general editorial slant of the vast majority of newspapers that generally swing right behind the powers that be and vested interests.

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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 07:16 pm:   

Speaking of Hugo Chavez... (LOL)...

Anybody catch the documentary "The Revolution Will Not be Televised"? Damn... Good stuff. Film crew was filming a documentary when the unsuccessful, US backed coup took place, and they had their cameras rolling the whole time. Incredible stuff. Well worth a look.


I bring this up because there is now a legitimate distribution channel for the documentary: I just recieved this today:

Dear Colleague,
We are aware that many of you will have received the DVD, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. Demand is high for this extraordinary documentary and its importance remains undiminished. As a result of this, VSC has agreed a unique arrangement with Documentary_film.net <http://www.documentary-film.net/>.
Anybody who wishes can register with Documentary-Film.net to watch the film now and receive a DVD of the documentary.
For further information please see:
<http://venezuelasolidarity.org.uk/ven/web/2006/partnerships/doc_film_net_film.ht ml>
VSC
Venezuelasolidarity.org.uk
<http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org.uk/>
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Trashhauler
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 07:48 pm:   

And, of course, the film wouldn't lie to us, because, after all, it is a documentary. ::grin::

"Paging Leni Riefenstahl! Call for Ms. Riefenstahl!"

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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 11:06 pm:   

wow trashhauler. You are so witty. How can anybody determine whats real, and whats false... critical thinking skills are so hard to come by.
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Thomas R.
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 12:06 am:   

Possibly he was too sarcastic, but documentaries are fairly often agenda driven. I think political documentaries have kind of an op-ed function and in the case of that one it was admittedly so. Still I'd be fine seeing it if it's on a channel I have, but in general it's just good to stay skeptical on political documentaries of any stripe. It seems like on US foreign policy people, including me(although I'm pretty critical on many aspects of US policy), have trouble doing that.
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 01:34 am:   

"but documentaries are fairly often agenda driven."

Again, thank you for stating the obvious. EVERYTHING is agenda driven. Your posts... my posts... the nightly news... Reviews in Asimov's... March of the Penguins... They All have an agenda.

Thus the need for critical thinking skills. Which, sadly, in America, seem to be lacking.
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Trashhauler
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 02:50 am:   

Jeremy, of course the need for critical thinking still exists. For example, why would anyone think that the films from that particular website would be anything but pure propanganda? Their purpose is advertised in their very site name and in the precis' of each film.

Critical thinking does not consist of looking around for the most anti-something material and swallowing it whole.
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 10:03 am:   

Have you seen the film?

Do you know who the director and producers are?

Do you know the circumstances under which the film was initially set out to be made, and what happened while the film was being made?

Do you know how and why this film has not gotten any normal distribtion in the states? Can you discus why it has been broadcast extensively in Europe, but not in the states?

Did you know anything about this movie, prior to my posting about it?

See... here's an example of critical thinking skills... if the NRA points to a specific piece of research who's results seem to supports the NRA's social platform, does that mean that the research is automatically suspect and biased?

For bonus points, replace NRA with any other politically polarizing organization (NOW, Christian Coalition, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, etc). Does your answer change if the organization changes?

Grow up dude. Search around and seek out information, instead of just seeking to reinforce your world view. You sound like an idiot, and even worse, you ASSUME that everybody is as simple minded and easily led as yourself.
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Trashhauler
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 07:18 pm:   

Jeremy, no huhu, fella. From your own website, one can see you're attached to this film. I won't argue with you about it for two reasons: 1) This is your neck of the woods and it would be impolite, and 2) It's not smart to argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

The Irish filmmakers certainly seem to have picked up a whole bunch of awards. There are certainly questions about the film's objectivity in some particulars, but none that I read about its quality. Perhaps I was led astray by its being surrounded by films of uniformly...protestant perspective. I mean, really, "Fallujah WMD"? I know a little something about ordnance and Willie Pete ain't no WMD.

And, in point of fact, regarding the subject of research (as distinct from film documentaries), I would view any study on a politically-charged subject as unverified until I got a look at their study methods, sampling and modeling techniques, etc. It is sometimes harder to judge documentaries, sometimes easier, depending on the skill employed. And I always have mistrusted sites wherein it is next to impossible to find out who the managers are.

Though you are free to do what you want, I might ask you to not prejudge my world view or how I seek knowledge. And lastly, thanks for the gratuitous insult about being an idiot - it's good for me to practice humility. And my ex-wife would certainly agree with you. ::grin::
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Thomas R.
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 02:03 am:   

It did get a 98% at Rottentomatoes, if we're thinking of the same film. It might be total nonsense in the fact department, but it's possibly interesting nonsense.
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 09:48 am:   

Trashhauler says: "I would view any study on a politically-charged subject as unverified until I got a look at their study methods, sampling and modeling techniques, etc. It is sometimes harder to judge documentaries, sometimes easier, depending on the skill employed."

Yet you failed utterly to even distinguish between the filmmakers, and the organization that was pointing out that the film was available. From the comments in your last post, you are STILL making the same mistake.

Further, you disingenuously state that you don't want to get into it in “my neck of the woods?” Whatever. You were the one who started this little back-and-forth by making offhanded comments about documentaries being (gasp) biased. And how it was clearly propaganda because the people who pointed it out shared different views then you. What was really clear is that you had formed an opinion prior to seeing a documentary you knew nothing about.

As for the idiot comment...well unlike well-documented events in the world, I only have how you carry yourself here... I only have your own words to judge you with. Gratuitous insult? Nope. Just a fair judgment, which I withheld until you continued to make idiotic statements.

In any event, I'm done as well.

peace
-jl
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Trashhauler
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 08:49 pm:   

No, really, I fucked up. I usually know better than to piss in the tallest dog's wheaties and I went and did it anyway. My fault, entirely. Prompting you to speak ex cathedra was very bad form. Sorry about that.
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Thomas R.
Posted on Sunday, April 09, 2006 - 02:06 am:   

So the question must be asked - what betrayal of Judas? How is it a betrayal? It is not merely that Judas is only playing the role assigned to him, that what he does is part of the whole drama, and he has to do it, play his role, speak the lines he was born to utter, give his kiss of "betrayal" that is not, all his role-playing decided upon by Divinity long before he was born; but much much more than this - HE IS THE VERY CATALYST FOR THE WHOLE PASSION DRAMA. Without him it does not happen, he is the true hero!

TR: This is the view of that Gospel of Judas deal National Geographic is doing. That's why I mention it now. However it was also the view of Benjamin D'Israeli, basically, although the Victorian era required him to couch it in certain ways.

Still this assumes he knowingly did this thing for the purpose of having the Passion happen. Just because it's pre-ordained doesn't mean the people involved know it. It seems likely his actions are caused by his being ticked at Jesus about something with the larger purpose being beyond him. Or he's just a pawn, which hardly makes him heroic either.

I mean should the Passover story make the Pharaoh the hero? It states God intentionally hardened his heart leading to a sequence of events that results in the Jewish people finding freedom. Islam dates things from the Hijra or Flight of Muhammad. This would not have occurred if the Meccans did not persecute him and ultimately cause the death of his first wife. So should they celebrate Meccan paganism? Or Buddhism celebrate Gautama's father as his sheltering the boy from suffering led to his later life and philosophy?

I didn't quite get your other objections. Even if Judas is a heck of a great guy I don't see how that changes much about the Crucifixion. Unless you view the Crucifixion story as solely being about hating Judas and the Jewish people. Which is likely how it seemed for many Jewish people like yourself for many centuries, but regardless that's not what it's about.

As for the errors you mention the Gospels were written decades after Jesus. They had to deal with witnesses many of whom were likely elderly or heard it second-hand from their parents. Added to that most ancient historians tended to write for the purpose of making a point as much or more than telling objective history. Or do you think ancient Greeks spoke in long elaborated speeches at all opportunities, even when dying:-)

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