At 10:08 AM 21-05-1999 +0200, Raimund wrote:
>And, even more, what is bad in sacred oaks, idols of gods
>(you will findplenty in all catholic churches, for instance!)
>or even animal or human sacrifices?
I don't think you're really serious, Raimund?
>Today, a basically christian country like the United States
>still commits criminals to capital punishment - which is nothing than
Again, this is difficult to understand?
Do you think the Americans have some religious motives
behind their executions?
Like a God of Gas, or of Electricity?
What of the other Christian countries?
>to bring the criminal to a higher court, namely gods,
>who will condemn the criminal, supposedly, to burn in hell eternally -
>else it would be no punishment at all!
This escapes me, too...
>So if the Celts did the same with
>criminals, what's worse with that practice than the very christian
>capital punishment of even today?
I have no experience with the actual religious motives
or principles of either... it would seem that most modern
executions have no correlation to Christmas, Easter or
even Samhain or Beltaine?
>So, do you want to say that all religions,
>given the possibility to expand,
>expand over most of the world and proove to be satisfying, logical and
>acceptable to most people or what?
I mean that Christianity is represented amongst all peoples...
>> If you read my messages, I have tried to explain coherently?
>> that I believe it is the *written* word that keeps 'checks and balances'
>> on religion...
>I'm sorry, but absolutly the same is claimed by Jehova's witnesses, with
>some of which I often have very interesting discussions about their
>belief system, as it is by the Catholics, the Protestants, the Orthodox
>christians and actually almost any other christian splitoff.
But that *is* the point, I could show you where the JW's have
done some shifty work with their greek interpretation,
and the written word does tell us about Russell,
the Watchtower Society, Judge Rutherford etc
The same is true for all the Christian doctrinal arguments,
the *written* word is there for unbiased persons to make up
their minds. The witch-hunts and murders over the centuries
are from political entities like Calvin's church, and the Vatican,
even unstable individuals can do deeds for which they should be
condemned. This means that the group or individual is wrong.
And people should not accept what is clearly bad or wrong?
>Calvin himself was
>responsible for the first trial and burning of heretics in "his"
>Protestant sect -
For which Calvin should be condemned,
I mean his actions should be soundly criticised :-)
>killing <emphasis> is actually part of true christian doctrine <end
>emphasis>. See the nice little stories in the old testament about
>stoning people to death for various "crimes", as already quoted in my
Come on Raimund...the stories in the Old Testament
are *not* instructions to go and do likewise... :-)
"You who are without sin cast the first stone..."
>> Maybe you don't know?
>I know pretty well. I have grown up as a catholic, have served as an
>altar boy for over 15 years, was a good part of my early life very
>active in the church and learned a lot there. Since I left church (and
>with good reasons, you can believe me), I have been participating in a
>religious discussion group where we have members of many faiths,
>including Jehova's Witnesses, Catholics, Protestants, Muslim's,
>Scientologists, Buddhists, practicing Magicians in the Crowley
>Tradition, Neo-Pagans, Taoists, and some Agnostics like me. I'm
>wellversed with what they tell about their respective belief systems,
>and have read a lot of literature about it.
All these are possibly confusing you? You should read more bible,
pray a bit :-)
>Actually, a lot of what's in it is quite nice, but you
>can as easily find the opposite!
>> You need to be fair in your criticism of Christianity...
>I am fair, I am judging it by the fruits it has produced, and what I see
>is mass murder, destruction, imperialism and opression for more than
>1000 years! Tell me, what more should I need?
Concentrate on the good bits, don't copy all the bad stuff,
it's simple :-)
>but only few pagan ideologies seem to have produced such
>violent and merciless results.
>> even the sack of Rome by the Moslems,
>> the slaughter of those whose refused to convert to Islam..
>Sorry, when did this happen? You seem to be dreaming!
>> In spite of all these things, I don't have anything but love
>> for *all* people, moslems, Hindu or animist, as God himself does...
>> it's what they *do* that can and must be judged right or wrong...
>But why against Christian standards, why not against their own? This
>implies an inherent superiority of christian ethics, which as such isn't
>true if you don't subscribe to a christian belief system.
>>> As much or not as those in christianity. There's no reason to assume
>>> that one is superior to the other.
>> I don't follow this reasoning... you are saying that paganism is
>> not superior to Christianity, or vice versa?
>Yes, you've got it!
>> ie that they are morally the same?.
>No, but that they operate under different moral systems, which however
>cannot be classified as superior or not to one another. To classify
>them, you would need to make moral judgements, that would nesessiate a
>universally superior moral system, and this simply doesn't exist, or, to
>put it that way, there exists no indication that such a universally
>superior moral system exists.
>> Surely then the extra benefits of Christianity should tip the balance
>> in Christianity's favour?
>Which extra benefits? I see none!
>> ie some percentage of a nominally Christian population
>> should actually hold to its principles, ie actually believe it and be
>> a blessing to both friend and foe, ie perform good works, work
>> for peace and harmony, literacy and education etc etc
>Whereas Celtic population would try to uphold the social system, work
>for the common good, keep up peace and order inside and keep up
>education etc etc etc. There are not many differences in this, actually,
>and actually, as history seems to document, the Celtic system worked
>better, at least in regard to producing less violence on a grand scale.
If you read the stories, Ireland is only 300 m x 100 m
but contained plenty of violence?
Maybe it was just grand exaggeration :-)
>Of course, all of this is still underlying a value judgement based on
>your own (christian) moral concepts, if we would look at this applying a
>pagan Celtic moral concept to it, it would as much tip the scales in
>favour of Celtic paganism as Christian moral concepts do tip the scales
>in favour of Christianity.
I just don't yet see the sort of moral force for love peace and
good will that is part of Christianity, in the Celtic tradition...
sure everyone loves there own family, but *love* your enemy?
>Weren't early christian ceremonies held in secret places and allegedly
>involved blood and death? So early christian beliefs were shameful, I
I don't think so, I even doubt the catacomb story :-)
>Even more, who says that blood and death are something
>bad per se? We all feed on death,
Change of diet? Bread of life?
>so why should it be
>bad to offer dead things or animals, or even humans
>(especially if they are condemned criminals), to the gods?
Two problems, are there really a plural of 'gods'...
and do they want your dead things?
Sounds pretty backward to me, since historically
most of the pagans voted to change to the newer and
presumably better religion,
since they were much closer to the old and the new,
they should have been able to know?
>Runes aren't Celtic!
Sorry mu mistake, I meant Ogham, but the meaning
was more that there were secret things according to the stories,
usually this means there's something to be ashamed of?
>> What of these 'gods'?
>> Badb *war* goddess (In Gaul Cauth Bodva 'War fury')
><snipped a lot about wargods and similar>
>> I understood these Gods were placated with sacrifices?
>Does not the biblical God strike his own
>people with death, plague, horrible enemies that attack them if they do
>not placate him by presenting the correct sacrifices (bread and wine and
>communion in christianity, varius offers in Judaism)?
You say that you have read and presumably understood the
bible, yet you should know that a Christian does not give
blood sacrifices, or worship gods of war...
yet if you approve of pagan blood sacrifices, this should
allow you to understand the principles behind the Christian
story... the once for all last sacrifice which is Christ...
why repeat endlessly that in the OT there are grim things...
curses, pagues and terrible judgement... and also
a way out... relief, and end to all that...
>I'm sorry, but
>where is the difference, except in the form of the offer?
Glad you asked :-)
I've just been trying to sensibly explain that God is real,
and all this killing and stuff is finished... kaput, no longer
needed... I'm not saying that Christianity is a better religion
than paganism... it's like this...
paganism is something you *do* for dead idols and demons...
Christ is the living creator of the universe,
the last sacrifice ... it is *finished* you just have to believe it...
then you must die to self,
you must identify with Him in His Death by baptism,
and be filled with His spirit...
>a) what has Carthargo to do with Celtic paganism, and
>b) what sources do you have that show that the above
>claim is right. I know nothing that
>could be interpreted that way from the excavations at Carthargo!
I'm getting tired tonight...
I can get the source stuff. later.
a) Are there not bones in jars scattered throughout Celtic areas,
...so-called foundation burials .... the stories of the Fomorian
Sea Pirates... weren't the Phoenicians in contact with the British Isles,
Marseilles, Cartagena etc?
b)A Rockefeller dig at the Topheth at Carthage turned up
murdered kids on a grand scale over a 1000 year period?
The Romans, hard as they were, found the paganism of these people
>No, I don't think that this practices were evil and wrong per se.
The same and
>much worse things apply to wars fought by christians. As such, if you do
>ascibe these acts to their pagan religion, you have to do the same for
>Christianity with the atrocities commited by it's followers, in the case
>of christianity even in it's name!
>> Talking about wholesale murder, Julius Caesar did a pretty good
>> job of genocide when he felt like it (the Veneti for example? )
>> And the Vandals got themselves a lasting reputation :-)
>Yes, but again, he did not do this because his pagan religion or it's
>clerus commanded him to do so, but for practical political reasons. As
>such, Casear is a pretty good example as to why Christianity seems to
>have behaved much worse in that regard than pagan religions usually have
>And actually, the Vandals did nothing especially bad - read some serious
>literature about them and don't believe the horror stories ascribed to
>>> So why do you think that the atrocities commited by pagans were
>>> requirements of their religious systems? That they did not commit such
>>> atrocities in spite of their religions, like you claim to be true for
>>> the christian faith? I really don't see the logic behind your argument!
>> My point was that most pagan societies *glorified* war,
>> whereas Christianity is a force for love, peace and forgiveness...
>Actually, there's little indication that most pagan societies glorified
>war - it rather seems as if to most pagan societies, war was seen as
>something that happened sometimes, a force not uncommon in the human
>world, and therefore had a deity or deities covering that aspect of
>human life. They glorified it no more or less than Christianity did
>during most of it's history, from at least the Dark Ages onwards up to
>the last or even this century. Thus, again, I can see little if any
>RAY - Mag.phil. Raimund KARL
>Universität Wien, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte
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Graeme M. Bailey <[log in to unmask]>
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