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 The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult.

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PostSubject: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:53 pm

This thread will be dedicated to showing the true nature of Christianity. If you are a Christian, be forewarned; this will most likely offend you.



Let's take a look at some of the virtues of Christianity:

1.) Blind faith

2.) humility

3.) passivity/submissiveness ( turn the other cheek ).

4.) self-denial - self-abasement

5.) Shunning the world

6.)  Complete dependence ( anti-individualism )

7.) Protection of the weak


Now let's compare this with a more naturalistic form of virtuism:

1.) Rational thinking

2.) Pride

3.) Bravado/ Defiance ( Might is Right )

4. ) Self-acceptance/ Egoism

5.) Embracing the word/ nature - Life affirmation

6.) Individualism - self-sufficiency

7.) Glorification of the strong - demonization of the weak




Roman-Master virtues and other pagan virtues were in accord with the latter set of virtues; they led to a strong people as they promoted strength and pride. With Christianity, it seeks to undo these master-morals - to invert them. Instead of strength being a virtue, it becomes a vice, and weakness then becomes the new virtue.

Let's just compare a couple of pictures depicting the Christian God Jesus and the pagan God Thor.




As you can see by the juxtaposition, Thor is depicted as being strong, virile, fierce, and masterly. Jesus is depicted as weak, submissive, sickly, and pathetic. What a stark contrast, no? Polar opposites they are. This, of course, is intentional; the creators of Christianity resented strength as they possessed none, so in the attempt to make themselves feel better, they sought to diminish that which makes them feel bad about themselves. They also deified their own state of being: weakness.

"For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” - 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

The above passage says it all.

( To be continued )


Last edited by Primal Rage on Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:43 pm

Why does Nietzsche refer to Christ as "the noblest human being"?
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:14 pm

I'm now going to go into more detail about the Christian hatred of the senses.

Heaven, this concept of heaven is indicative of the abhorrence the Christian has towards nature, the world. Heaven is the anti-thesis of nature; Nature is temporary, indifferent, brutal, carnal, etc. Heaven is eternal, caring, benevolent, holy, etc. The Christian is commanded to shun the world, to not take part in the flesh as the world is a vile, filthy place. The Christian is ordered to wait for his other-worldy utopia that is free from all worldliness. Not only this, but the Christling is commanded by the divine one to deny himself, to be a walking contradiction. He must make himself as lowly as possible before his celestial alpa-male. He must trade in his manhood to enter the pearly gates. Jesus is the king of all eunuch virtues - the King of the slaves - The King of weakness.




The Christian seeks to make everything other-worldy, anti-nature. Their utopia is other worldly, their angels are other worldly, their alpha-male is other worldly, their hell is other worldly, so on and so forth. The more real, physical world is of the Devil. Satan is the ruler of the Earth.

"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.…" -Ephesians 2: 1-10


Satan is the Earthly alpha-male. He is the archetype of the real masters - of nature's noblemen.

(Milton's portrait of Satan:)

He above the rest

In shape and gesture proudly eminent

Stood like a tower; his form had yet not lost

All her original brightness, nor appeared

Less than the archangel ruin’d, and th’ excess

Of glory obscured: as when the sun new ris’n

Looks through the horizontal misty air

Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon

In dim eclipse disastrous twilight sheds

On half the nations; and with fear of change

Perplexes monarchs.



Satan represents the rogue masculine force, the defiant one. He is the anti-thesis of all Christian virtues. Nature is Satan's church.

( to be continued )
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:15 pm

To answer PerpetualBurn's question before moving on to the next part of this thread, Nietzsche didn't believe in the Biblical depiction of Jesus; he believed that Jesus was a historical figure, but that he was more of a secular revolutionary type figure. Nietzsche's Jesus and the NT Jesus are two very different personas.

                                             Nature is Satan's Church


As prior mentioned, Satan is often referred to as the ruler of the Earth. His very nature is the quintessential anti-thesis of the Christian slave-morals.

Satan's nature:

1.) Rebellious/defiant

2.) Proud

3.) Ambitious/Power-hungry

4.) Intelligent/Clever

5.) Fleshy/carnal

Satan is a lion - a noble archetype. He embraces life, enjoying mankind's natural carnality, and lives in accord with the masculine will to power. Jesus is the opposite; he is a sheep - a despicable archetype. He rejects the world, denies carnality, and lives in accord with the emasculated form of the will to power.

Jesus' church is not of this world. Satan's church is of this world.

Nature scoffs as Jesus and all his eunuch virtues. Nature does not turn the other cheek. Nature is Anti-Christ. Nature provides her emanations with claws, fangs, poisons, and thorns for combat. Jesus de-claws his followers - emasculates them.



Nature smiles upon the strong - Jesus smiles upon the weak.

The natural world is a brutal world. Religious hyper-kindness ( altruism -compassion ) is a weakness, a weakness that will be used against you. If you are kind like Jesus, then you will be manipulated and abused. Nature is a gladiator game of competing wills to power. There are multiplicities of creatures that are evolved to rip you to shreds and devour your innards. This is not a divine, righteous world. It is ferocious, bloody, and barbaric world. The most brutal and clever shall win.

( to be continued )
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:54 pm

perpetualburn wrote:
Why does Nietzsche refer to Christ as "the noblest human being"?

--Or why does he refer to the ubermensch as "the Roman Caesar with Christ's soul"?

Quote :
To answer PerpetualBurn's question before moving on to the next part of this thread, Nietzsche didn't believe in the Biblical depiction of Jesus; he believed that Jesus was a historical figure, but that he was more of a secular revolutionary type figure. Nietzsche's Jesus and the NT Jesus are two very different personas.

It might be true that Nietzsche sees Jesus as a figure opposed to the dominance of the Hebrew priests, revaluing their values. And it might be true that much of what Nietzsche attributes to Christianity he doesn't also attribute to Jesus himself. But for Nietzsche, and the NT, both accounts portray a figure that preached non-resistance, equality, non-distinction, forgiveness, etc. So, I wonder if there must be more to the answer than what you said, since if any bad ass rebel would qualify, there's probably better examples than Jesus.
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:00 pm

Nature abhors kind men like Jesus; they are weak, unmanly wretches. This is made even more evident by the par excellence incarnation of nature herself: The human female. It's a well-observed phenomena that women are turned off by those good, kind gentlemen types. If a man is too nice to a member of the feminine gender, she will quickly lose sexual interest in him. She will relegate him to a slave-boy, manipulating and using him while she has sexual relations with a more masculine, cold-blooded alpha-male figure. Nature favors the strong, brave, ruthless, and all daring - the human female looks for those same qualities in her mate. Nature weeds out the weak in pursuit of the strong. It's a beautiful phenomena, is it not? As Redbeard would say " Bravery and Beauty becoming one".



Another perfect example of how the goodness and kindness of Jesus is a weakness is observed in prisons. Prison is a sort of jungle in itself; a place where there is no mercy for the weak - where the strong dominate. The prisoner is more in tune with nature than the civilized man. Tooth and claw, tooth and claw.

In prison, if you are divinely good and divinely compassionate, you will either be made into someone's little bitch boy or you will be killed. In prison you have to be very clever or brutally strong to survive ( just like in nature ). And power is in numbers; it is imperative that you become part of a gang ( tribe ). You must be hard and ferocious - merciless. Any display of effeminacy will jeopardize yourself and the gang.

The human female adores these bold bad men. They will flock to trials where serial-killers are being prosecuted, fantasize about rape, and cheer for their favorite gladiators. The human female instinctively admires a ruthless and powerful man. Nature made these females to be this way, to select the strong and brave, and reject the weak. It's all part of nature's plan.

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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:02 pm

perpetualburn wrote:
Why does Nietzsche refer to Christ as "the noblest human being"?

Perpetual, were you earnest about the question or just asking Primal's view?

Anyway, for the record, that whole quote from which you isolate those words, reads,

"The Jews are the people to whom we owe the noblest human being (Christ), the purest philosopher (Spinoza), the mightiest book, and the most effective moral code in the world.”

The "purest" philosopher was a pun relating to Spinoza's god as "pure substance" theory; both him and jesus espousing an extreme Immanence, whereas the mightiest book and the most effective moral code are both extremely political and worldly.
I see this as him crediting the Jews with presenting us with two extremes.

So the quote itself does not refer to Christ per se, but the jews, and this credit as a way of affirming them beyond anti-semitism and ressentiment.

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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:44 pm

Quote :
Nature abhors kind men like Jesus; they are weak, unmanly wretches.


Maybe that's why she killed him?
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:57 pm

Christ-Insanity

It never ceases to amaze me how so many supposedly ' good ' and ' righteous' Christians justify the divine cruelty of their 'master'. There is something inherently schizophrenic about the average Christian; his squeaky clean lifestyle, his exaggerated smile, his over-bearing friendliness. Supposedly the quintessential good-samaritan, but behind all those pretenses is the cosmic tyrant Yahweh who will, without mercy, roast sinners in an other-dimensional inferno for eternity. A God who sends his own son to be flogged and crucified for the sins of a bunch of petty mortals. A God that wipes out entire tribes - man, woman, child, and even beast. A God that makes even mortals sacrifice their children for his ' glorious' name sake. How do these squeaky clean Christians justify all this?


Look at this clean-cut Christian family. Cute aren't they? :


Now look at where they believe you are going....forever:



What a wonderful little family. Their God loves you so, so much. This is the Christ-insanity that I am talking about. These Christians are walking epileptics. Their mannerisms and movement are awkward. Rational minds can't help but feel supreme discomfiture upon entering their presence. Their minds are sickly - infantile. Their emotions are retarded. Their great deity is the anti-thesis of their sacred codes. " Do as I say - not as I do" seems appropriate here. When will mankind recover from this great Jewish disease?

( to be continued )
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:36 pm

Primal Rage wrote:
...behind all those pretenses is the cosmic tyrant Yahweh who will, without mercy, roast sinners in an other-dimensional inferno for eternity. A God who sends his own son to be flogged and crucified for the sins of a bunch of petty mortals. A God that wipes out entire tribes - man, woman, child, and even beast. A God that makes even mortals sacrifice their children for his ' glorious' name sake.

Sounds like a god after your own heart, doesn't it?
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:46 pm

I see that the Satanic Bible is your book of instruction. The Nine Satanic Statements:

1.Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
2.Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
3.Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
4.Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates!
5.Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek!
6.Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires!
7.Satan represents man as just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development," has become the most vicious animal of all!
8.Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
9.Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years.

Excerpts from The Scriptures regarding men's masculinity.

"When a woman fulfills her God given role in submission to men, she glorifies the man in her life. (1 Corinthians 10:31). When a man fulfills his God given role, he displays not only what God looks like (His image, Genesis 1:26-27; 5:1-3), but also His character as well (Colossians 3:9-10).

When a man acts not like a man, he rebels against his Creator. For example, it is an abomination for a man to wear women's clothing (Deuteronomy 22:5), to have sex with other men (Genesis 19:1-24). and it as a shameful thing when women rule over men (Isaiah 3:12).

Masculinity is strength and courage, not cowardice and timidity. This strength does not originate in the flesh (although, it may very well display itself in the flesh, Hebrews 11:34), but rather this strength is in the spirit.

Hebrews 4:12-13 does not flatter women. The male is the glory of God, but the female is the glory of man (1 Corinthians 11:7). The reason women even exist is so that they can help men.

For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. (1 Corinthians 11:8-9) Women are to be man's "helper." (Genesis 2:18)

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. (James 4:1-2).

Material things are not evil in themselves, but the pursuit of possessions is not the highest good. “What profit is there if a person gains the whole world and loses his soul?” (Mark 8:36)

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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:17 pm

Mo, yes God is just another flavor of Might is Right, no doubt. But I refuse to bow before him or any king that is against my will.  

Reasonvemotion, I actually haven't read the Satanic Bible yet. I've seen documentaries on Anton Lavey and other videos related to non-theistic Satanism. From what I've heard, the Satanic bible contains many selected passages from my favorite book: Might Is Right. Lavey was heavily influenced by Ragnar Redbeard.

And Biblical masculinity is pseudo-masculinity. Christian men pride themselves on their ' masculinity ' but there is nothing manly about getting on your knees and receiving God's holy spirit up your ass.


You see these eunuchs below? Does that look manly to you?


They are gay for Jesus.
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:44 pm

Primal rage wrote:

Quote :
And Biblical masculinity is pseudo-masculinity. Christian men pride themselves on their ' masculinity ' but there is nothing manly about getting on your knees and receiving God's holy spirit up your ass.


You see these eunuchs below? Does that look manly to you?


Sweetheart, I agree with you.  

Let me explain something about "The Church".

He taught the people for only three plus years and yet in one generation, transformed the world and affected history like no other has.  A couple of thousand years later his followers number in the billions yet, the practice of Christianity today, hardly resembles the early teachings. and what is interesting is, this was foretold would happen.  Revelation 13,  NKJV

As a struggling small minority, Christianity had no status in the Roman empire.  People of this faith were considered scapegoats and punishment could very easily mean death.  It was widely spoken of as undermining the Roman empire and we read in history how the Christians were fed to the lions, pitch poured on them and set alight and still the early Church survived.

In AD 306 a new Roman Emperor came to power.  This was Constantine the Great, a shrewd politician and a powerful leader, who won battle after battle. During his reign the national sentiment against Christianity began to reverse and went from being a persecuted sect, to openly holding positions in courts and governments.  If you wanted to advance in the military it was simpler to become Christian, as all of the hierarchy in the military were Christian.  Of course the converts of the Roman Empire brought with them many of their former pagan beliefs and practices.

That is the real change.  That is when the Christianity really becomes the Christianity that it is today. The people who are running the show are not Christian. Over time church leaders embraced the beliefs of flamboyant ceremonies, part of the pagan religions and introduced and taught superstitions and man made traditions, none of which are the simple commands of God.

So coming out in the fourth century "the church" is now unrecognisable, as is "the church" of today and people's general ignorance of the Scriptures.


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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:01 pm

Yes, I agree; Christianity has taken on many forms. But the essence remains the same regardless of the many denominations. It is a spiritual feminization cult. Yeshua Hamashiach is the great destroyer of heroism and all manly virtues.



He rightly deserved this.
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:10 pm

The Scriptures states clearly

"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." —Matthew 6:7

and with this you can easily distinguish the true from the false.


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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:12 pm

Are you a Christian, Reasonvemotion?
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:18 pm

I belong to no Church, no religion.

I was brought up with no beliefs, it was left to us as children to decide.

I believe The Scriptures holds many truths and can be cross referenced and stands up to scrutiny, whether it be by man or science.

When you look at society today, the helplessness and hopelessness of man, it is all prophesized.

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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:28 pm

I'm pretty sure that was a resounding yes.

Any belief in God or gods is infantile unless it is through the psychoanalytic lens of self-projection. The only thing close to a God is the Universe and it is the cruelest of all.
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:38 pm

Reason, most of the things prophesied in the Bible are related to mundane occurrences, e.g., Earthquakes, war, death, famines, despair, etc, etc. All those things have been happening since the dawn of time. And the apocalyptic scriptures were descriptions of the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem by emperor Titus. They were almost certainly written after the fact.

Pan0ptic, yes - pantheism is about the most mature version of God I've come across, but even that has some grave flaws; the universe is not benevolent and holy. Pansatanism would be an upgrade.
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:54 pm

It's just a variation on a theme take a gander at the Christ Pantocrator wiki page.

Pan-Satanism seems to be a more, dare I say, egoic expression of pantheism. The flaw as I see it is in the identification with ego. For such is an environmental construct and any reality it has is ultimately illusory; malleable, transient and therefore a thing to be overcome.
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:20 pm

Lyssa wrote:
perpetualburn wrote:
Why does Nietzsche refer to Christ as "the noblest human being"?

Perpetual, were you earnest about the question or just asking Primal's view?

Anyway, for the record, that whole quote from which you isolate those words, reads,

"The Jews are the people to whom we owe the noblest human being (Christ), the purest philosopher (Spinoza), the mightiest book, and the most effective moral code in the world.”

The "purest" philosopher was a pun relating to Spinoza's god as "pure substance" theory; both him and jesus espousing an extreme Immanence, whereas the mightiest book and the most effective moral code are both extremely political and worldly.
I see this as him crediting the Jews with presenting us with two extremes.

So the quote itself does not refer to Christ per se, but the jews, and this credit as a way of affirming them beyond anti-semitism and ressentiment.

I was fishing to see what sort of response I would get and of course I get, "Nature abhors kind men like Jesus; they are weak, unmanly wretches"...But I was always interested in this question, which lead me to this:

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One question is of utmost importance: are we to interpret the Overman to be some sort of highest type of man, the perfect embodiment of the essence of man (who actualizes what was, in the past, only a potentiality)—or are we to interpret the Overman in a much different way—as a species higher than man (perhaps a god) and, in any case, as some living being other than man?  The question is of decisive importance because the point is not simply to quarrel over a difference of degree or of nature. The point is to determine whether Nihilism is so coextensive with the essence of man that it will prove possible to overcome it only by overcoming humanity itself.  Meanwhile,though, Nietzsche's answer to the question is clear enough. To the humanism of progress (implying an accumulation of gains for the entire species—i.e., the distribution to each and every man of the "attributes" they have picked up together) Nietzsche opposes a non-egalitarian and anti-universalist vision of the future where hierarchy and selection will come more and more into power and evidence. On the one hand, to be sure, there will be "gregarized" humanity subsisting and prospering precisely by stabilizing itself at the nihilistic level of the search for happiness: in this quarter the nihilism of the last man will install itself and spread itself out. On the other hand, though, the new "masters," turning toward the ultimate goal, will create the primer for the counter-movement that will make it possible for the More-than-human to thunder forth at some undetermined time in the future: this they will achieve by destroying the old values with a "blow of the hammer"—a blow that must both smash and liberate—and by instituting new tablets. It is this operation in which certain men are separated off and isolated from the others that will constitute the condition for the possibility of the production of beings surpassing man. The total man, the synthetic man, therefore represents only a stage of transition (a type no doubt allowing of various degrees) on the way toward the Overman. The "highest" man, the "legislator of the future" (i.e., the man who lays down thelaw, submitting himself to it as well), amounts to only an effort on the part of the Will to Power to attain the Overman—a bold and dangerous experiment.

In any event, the Overman is "an attempt at something which is no longer man." 29 Once again the logic of identity breaks down, not because the Overman contains an ambiguity (he is not, after all,at the same time both the fulfillment of man and the surpassing of man), but because he stands in opposition to the identification of man with himself as the highest living being. Man can no longer idolize himself. The "will for justice" ("justice"meaning, for Nietzsche, at once a respect for distance and separation as well as an adequation to the Will to Power) commands Zarathustra to "smash,according to the image of the Overman, all your images of man." 30 Having irrevocably sold itself into slavery, humanity ceases to be the goal: "The Overman is now the goal."  The Overman stands out as that type of living being who finally cuts himself loose from all the ties that even an affirmative humanity keeps on having with Nihilism. For Nietzsche, this ''detachment''constitutes the future of the future, its promise. It presupposes as already accomplished the immense task of the transmutation, a task itself belonging to the future.

The Overman, as different from man as man is from the animals, is not a myth, but rather an "economical" exigence of the Will to Power. In fact, he represents the necessary compensation for the degradation, the loss of energy, evidenced by the present species that has been leveled down. The Will to Power must be able to retrieve itself wholly in the figure of the Overman, since it has degenerated wholly in the figure of man. Thus, the Overman does not fulfill humanity but rather that which, in humanity, is more originary than humanity—namely, the Will to Power: the Overman is the fulfillment not of the essence of man, but of the essence of life.

It might seem Utopian that two such different species of thinking beings,which Nietzsche envisages
"separated as much as could possibly be," could ever subsist "side by side" far in the future. But that is only because we find it so difficult to think of the opposition master/slave in terms other than those of domination or dialectical reciprocity. Meanwhile, though, the opposition Overman/man first of all simply continues to push to the very limit the fundamental antinomy governing any type of moral construction:the opposition between gregarious/passive/vulgar and solitary/affirmative/noble. These two fundamental determinations of the Will to Power end up by existing in absolute separation. Secondly, though, for Nietzsche it is possible to conceive of a reign that is not at all a domination:
"Beyond those who dominate, freed from all ties, is where the highest men live: and these make use of the dominators as of instruments." 31 The future "Masters of the Earth" will possess neither political power, nor wealth, nor any effective governing force. Those who actually govern and dominate will themselves be of the slave class. The Overman will not govern or dominate leveled-down humanity. Nietzsche describes him as soft, austere, isolated, sober,powerful, resembling a "god of Epicurus," not concerning himself with men. His reign will therefore be a secret reign. But how will he reign if he places himself beyond all political action and finds himself the butt of disdain for the slaves? He will reign in the sense that he will exercise over humanity an indirect influence, what Nietzsche calls by the name of "grand politics": having been the only one to preserve the power of creating, he will steer the world toward a goal that necessarily remains unknown to men. He will reign inasmuch as he will incarnate precisely the possibility of a future.The Caesarism of the Overman—nonviolent Caesarism ("Caesar with the soul of Christ")—must be understood as a tyranny of an artist. The "Masters of the Earth" will, as artists do, mold and fashion the masses of humanity to the extent to which, unknown to these masses, they can serve  the ''masters" as an instrument. Indeed, only these latter will be conscious of any higher goal. Moreover, this "artistic" side of the Overman does not only signify that he shall gather into himself all the characteristics of various creators of the past (scholars, heroes, poets); it really points to something quite different from artistic talents or gifts, even prodigious ones. It points out that art is henceforth to be acknowledged as the highest value, that the principle of evaluation has been fundamentally turned about.

Quote :
Let us return for a moment to those states of experience that, at a certain point, must not be translated into representations or fantasies, must not be transmitted by legal, contractual, or institutional codes, must not be exchanged or bartered away, but, on the contrary, must be seen as a dynamic flux that carries us away even further outside. This is precisely a process of intensity, of intensities. The state of experience is not subjective in origin, at least not inevitably so. Moreover, it is not individual.  It is a continuous flux and the disruption of flux, and each pulsional intensity necessarily bears a relation to another intensity, a point of contact and transmission. This is what underlies all codes, what escapes all codes, and it is what the codes themselves seek to translate, convert, and mint anew. In his own pulsional form of writing, Nietzsche tells us not to barter away intensity for mere representations. Intensity refers neither to the signifier(the represented word) nor to the signified (the represented thing). Finally,then, how can we even conceive of it if it serves both as the agent and object of decodification? This is perhaps the most impenetrable mystery posed in Nietzsche's thought.

Proper names also play a role here, but they are not intended to be representations of things (or persons) or words. Presocratics, Romans,Jews,Christ, Antichrist, Julius Caesar, Borgia, Zarathustra—collective or individual, these proper names that come and go in Nietzsche's texts are neither signifiers nor signified. Rather, they are designations of intensity inscribed upon a body that could be the earth or a book, but could also be the suffering body of Nietzsche himself: I am all the names of history
. . .There is a kind of nomadism, a perpetual displacement in the intensities designated by proper names, intensities that interpenetrate one another at the same time that they are lived, experienced, by a single body. Intensity can be experienced, then, only in connection with its mobile inscription in a body and under the shifting exterior of a proper name, and therefore the proper name is always a mask, a mask that masks its agent.


Quote :
The saying that Zarathustra gives and commends to his disciples is always the saying of a will that orders, the saying of those genuine philosophers who, Nietzsche assures us, command and legislate: "They say, 'thus it shall be!'"  Here what must be is what will be in any case, and yet what nonetheless can be only through the force of this will that states: a strange situation, in which meaning is and nonetheless is only if it is uttered. Thus,the word that states the meaning is here clearly ascribed to the will, and not to the understanding or to reason. This word is still logos, but in this imperious and ordaining logos there is now something that is akin to the deka logoi of
the Decalogue. In Nietzsche, as in the Bible, the word is the scepter of power. And meaning, in turn, is a function of power.

But on the other hand, this will that states and dictates the form and the truth is in no way arbitrary. It is fully a will and a Will to Power only when it wills what is, when it loves the necessary: then it conceives itself as a destinyor a fatality, a storm or lightning bolt of truth. Ego fatum, Nietzsche often says,always conscious of the profound identity of the will (here the ego) and of necessity (here the fatum).  The perfect will is delivered from the caprices of desire, and destiny, for its part, is no  longer (as Leibniz put it) a''Turkishfate" (fatum mahumetanum).  Meaning is only for the will, and the will is only for meaning. Thus the authentic master of the philosopher is indeed the evangelical metaphysician, Nietzsche says: Caesar with the soul of Christ. It is such a master who speaks in the aphorism we have chosen. It is time to hear his words.


Quote :
The symbol of eternal life predominant in the New Testament is the Kingdom of God, but it eroded and virtually disappeared even before the completion of the New Testament itself.  Yet it did not simply disappear - it revered itself, becoming its own "other" in the Christian doctrine of God.  This is the fundamental insight of modern theology, and we owe it to Nietzsche.  True, Hegel had fully realized it conceptually, but only conceptually, not humanly and immediately



Quote :
The very word "Christianity" is a misunderstanding; there was only one Christian, and he and his gospel died on the cross. "What has been called 'evangel' from that moment was actually the opposite of that which he lived: 'ill tidings,' a dysangel." 14   True Christianity is not "faith" in redemption through Christ, nor is it repentance or prayer; only Christian praxis is Christian: "True life, eternal life, has been found—it is not promised, it is here,it is in you: as a living in love, in love without subtraction and exclusion, without regard for station.  

In the whole psychology of the "evangel" the concept of guilt and punishment is absent—as is also the concept of reward. "Sin"—any distance separating God and man—is abolished: this is precisely the
' 'glad tidings.'' Blessedness is not promised, it is not tied to conditions: it is the only reality—the rest is a sign with which to speak of it.16  Only the practice,the immediate living, of the "glad tidings" leads to God. Indeed, Nietzsche proclaims that "it is God."

What god? Surely not the Christian God, the absolutely sovereign and transcendent God, the God of eternity. The God of Jesus? The God of the crucified? Less than a year after writing The Antichrist,
when insanity was bursting upon him, Nietzsche alternately signed his notes "Dionysus" and"The Crucified." Of course, Dionysus is the crucified. At least, the Greek Dionysus is a god who dies and is resurrected. Zarathustra, too, is Dionysus,and Zarathustra suffers as a god. 18  Again, what god? Is this the god or God who becomes manifest in the death of God? Could we say that the "glad tidings," both of Jesus and of Zarathustra, are the announcement of the death of God? Surely the death of God abolishes any distance separating God and man, and with that abolition, sin and guilt disappear. Does blessedness then become the only reality? All promise, all future hope and expectation,come to an end in the death of God. If the "glad tidings'' are the announcement of the death of God, then living the "glad tidings" does lead to God.  But it leads to that God who appears when all distance separating God and man disappears and is no more.  True life is then found not in the life of God but in the death of God.  Thereby life is not promised, it is here, it is in you, in you and me.  For you and I have killed God, and we kill God when we pronounce His name, when we say life, and eternal life, and say it here and now.  That life, that yes-saying, is not promised, it is found; and it is found in Christian praxis, in the immediate and total living of the "glad tidings" of the death of God.



Quote :
Dionysus' death is not the unforeseen and unwanted death of Jesus. As the anti-type of the Crucified, Dionysus is opposed to the Pauline invention of the Savior on the cross, and thus to the obsession with are deeming death, a redeeming of self.  But, by the same token, Dionysus is close to the non-Pauline Jesus. Jesus said yes, he affirmed, but he did not want death. This is the decisive difference between Dionysus and Jesus.Dionysus, the more lucid and vigorous, wants to be a martyr: not for himself, but as an inner condition for the affirmation of life.  In contrast to the Pauline crucified Jesus, who exalts death over life—who is close, but not identical, to the Jesus who wanted life without facing death—Dionysus confronts death, certain of the over-fullness of life and his own re-creative power.


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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:59 pm

Perpetual, I responded to your question above the ' Nature is Satan's church' title. Apparently, you did not see it, so I will paste it here:

"To answer PerpetualBurn's question before moving on to the next part of this thread, Nietzsche didn't believe in the Biblical depiction of Jesus; he believed that Jesus was a historical figure, but that he was more of a secular revolutionary type figure. Nietzsche's Jesus and the NT Jesus are two very different personas. "
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:25 pm

No, I saw that.  You should read the selections I quoted.  You can then reconsider this.

Primal Rage wrote:
Nature abhors kind men like Jesus; they are weak, unmanly wretches
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:06 pm


Primal Rage wrote:
Nature abhors kind men like Jesus; they are weak, unmanly wretches



Nature truly does abhor such persons. Yet I find that the cruelty to whcih he was subjected had more to do with the inertia of the herd mind than it had to do with any personal offense. People are loathe to change just like the speeding locomotive takes miles to slow down.
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:24 pm

Perpetual, except for the first bold you make, the rest is so-so,, doesn't strike me as profound scholarship; for example,

Quote :
He will reign inasmuch as he will incarnate precisely the possibility of a future.The Caesarism of the Overman—nonviolent Caesarism ("Caesar with the soul of Christ")—

is Not non-violent Caesarism that N. was getting at, - laughable! Cf. WTP, 983. N. was remarking compared to the need for blond beasts like Caesar to overcome and conquer their own sense of pity, "forgiving one's enemies" like Christ did is "child's play". Christ's forgiving of enemies would be like tinkering with toys to a Caesar-like being faced with the enormous task of conquering his own pity and being Hard to work on mankind like a sculptor, an artist. I quote;

"Education in those rulers' virtues that master even one's benevolence and pity: the great cultivator's virtues ("forgiving one's enemies") is child's play by comparison), the affect of the creator must be elevated - no longer to work on marble! - The exceptional situation and powerful position of those beings (compared with any prince hitherto): the Roman Caesar with Christ's soul." [WTP, 983]


Second example,

Quote :
This is the decisive difference between Dionysus and Jesus.Dionysus, the more lucid and vigorous, wants to be a martyr: not for himself, but as an inner condition for the affirmation of life.

This is such poor phrasing; Dionysos does not "want to be" a martyr. What follows will make clear.
Note that it was N.'s opinion that the Xt. cult of Christ's death and resurrection, etc. were imitated copies of oriental mystery cults, and so any question asking was Dionysos like Christ is already improper. In the foll., its the etymology of Dionysos, from which the Xt. cult prepares the inversion of the "Liberator"...


Quote :
"Among the décadent movements that most contributed to the rise of Christianity, are the subterranean cults, symptoms of decay within paganism itself, something already fully infiltrated within the Roman Empire, though kept under control by it, but that, with the new symbols of Christianity brought by Paul, eventually supplanted the Empire.
Nietzsche maintains that the main reason for the decline of paganism and Hellenism was not their
"corruption”, i.e. their moral perversion, but exactly the opposite, namely the introduction of morality into its bosom.34 It may be possible to draw a trajectory for this movement of dissolution within Paganism having as a starting point the introduction of elements of Zoroastrianism within the mystery cults, as well as elements of what Nietzsche calls “egyptism”, i.e., the doctrine of judgment, punishment, reward and salvation of the soul that was transported to the initiation rituals of underground cults, what began with the Orphism. It is probable that the cult of Dionysus had already been infected by this moral disease. This is also the first time when the practice of asceticism stemmed from Asia was denaturalized, previously a way for the neophyte find his place in the vastness of the universe, now transformed into a practice of denial and escape from the world. This movement takes on a new aspect in the Pythagorean school, passing by Parmenides and leading to, of course, Plato, “this anti-Hellene and Semitic from instinct...” The underground cults propagated in ancient Rome represented, therefore, the decline of paganism, and was it what Paul led to his Christianity. In fact, with his doctrine of salvation of the soul by the faith in Christ, by the faith in the forgiveness of sins by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, he managed to overcome all the mystery cults, thus eliminating any competition.

Besides the pagan décadence, another key element for the development of the Christianity of Paul was the use of the “ill reason”, i.e. post-Socratic philosophy. “The appearance of the Greek philosophers after Socrates is a symptom of décadence: the anti-Hellenics instincts take the lead.”
As well as Greek dialectic, other element of corrosion of the Hellenic culture that Christianity has inherited was the Platonic philosophy, corrupted since its birth by Pythagoreanism. Despite the use of Platonic philosophy by Christianity have acquired its definitive form in the works of Church Fathers, the direction that made Christianity a “Platonism for ‘the people’” had already been given by Paul.

The unprecedented falsification of reality elaborated by Paul has as main result the symbol that expresses the absolute negation of life and all aspects that condition life itself: the Crucified One. In the symbol of the Crucified, in the vision of Christ, the “firstborn of God”, dead on the cross for the sake of humanity, all unsuccessful and poorly formed see the horrible secret thoughts behind this symbol not understood yet? – All that suffers, all that is naileid to the cross, is divine...”
On the death of Christ on the cross, pain and suffering are deified as means of salvation, as getaway vehicles from the world, but, as such, must be seen at the same time as the very refutation of life, rather than be its condition. Against this ominous symbol, Nietzsche will oppose the symbol of the pagan god Dionysus. In the last phase of Nietzsche’s thought, the symbol of the god Dionysus is closely related to the notion of Dionysian affirmation of life.

The Dionysian becomes increasingly the manifestation and the acceptance of the only existing reality. To say Yes unconditionally, unlimitedly and unshakably to life, to all its aspects, to everything that she has to offer, especially to pain, suffering and death, because these are not negative factors, but the very condition by which life might be effective. This absolute affirmation of life is contained in the figure of Dionysus, the god who comes from the most authentic pagan religious sentiment.
The symbol of the Crucified One, on the other hand, was created by Paul as an attempt to overcome the subterranean cults, in which the myth of hero, of the childish-god, dead and risen, was one of the main elements of the mysteries of initiation. Therefore, the symbol of the crucified born as an attempt of answer, as a depravity and an imitation of the symbol of Dionysus.

The practice of Jesus and the Christian doctrine, though radically different in their needs and in their consequences, should be more correctly designated by the word “Heilligen” (save, heal) and not by “Erlösung” (redeem, set free). There is a high probability that the German word “Erlösung” and his radical “lösen” are directly connected with “Liber” [liberator], one of the Roman names for Dionysus, so identified because of an association with Liber Pater, an ancient Italian god of agriculture. Was under this shape that Dionysus was generally celebrated in the Roman mystery cults. The popularity of his cult was great among the slaves, because of his attribute as “that one which liberates”. Dionysus was identified as Liber among the Romans, on the other hand, due to his representation in the Greek mystery cults in the shape of Lusios (or Lusos), whose name has its origin in the word
“Λυσει” (Lusei), which means precisely “to resolve”, “release”, “liberate”, from which derives loosen”, “solve”, “dissolve”, “unfasten”, “unlace”, “annul”. That is, “lösen” means, in general, to give a solution, solve a problem or a contradiction, by means of the dissolution, of the annulment of it. The Erlösung Dionysus, i.e. that who is evoked in the last writings of Nietzsche, would be the one who liberates the [highest type of] man of the great terror of existence by dissolving the contradictions inherent to it, or by nullifying the dichotomies, showing the need of pain, suffering and death for life, even better, showing that pleasure and pain, suffering and happiness, life and death belong together, are inseparable, one aspect determines other and this makes possible the existence. Erlöser, Erlösung, erlösen, in German, also refers to a double movement: to gather and disperse, to create and destroy at the same time. So the idea of a Dionysian redemption is opposed to the Christian “redemption” as this eliminates, in the name of Heaven, this double movement. While the Christian “redemption” supposes the “eternity”, Dionysian redemption assumes the permanence of the becoming.

The symbol of the Crucified One is thus a corruption, a distortion, an inversion of the symbol of Dionysus. It’s like a caricature for propaganda purposes, as a parody of an most original symbol, that the symbol of the Crucified One was invented, as a manifestation of a second encounter between East and West, that this time occurred between the décadents layers of society, and not among the strongest like occurred in tragic Greece. Paul invented his own god, i.e. the Crucified One, through a kind of reverse copy of the god Dionysus.
This allows us to better understand the scope of the opposition expressed in the formula Dionysus against the Crucified, or even better: – Nietzsche against Paul."

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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:25 pm

Mo wrote:
Primal Rage wrote:
...behind all those pretenses is the cosmic tyrant Yahweh who will, without mercy, roast sinners in an other-dimensional inferno for eternity. A God who sends his own son to be flogged and crucified for the sins of a bunch of petty mortals. A God that wipes out entire tribes - man, woman, child, and even beast. A God that makes even mortals sacrifice their children for his ' glorious' name sake.

Sounds like a god after your own heart, doesn't it?

Laughing

I'm with Primal on the anti-Xt. thing, but that was funny!

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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:08 pm

Christian Epilepsy.

The Christian suffers from neurological retardation; unable to function properly as a rational human being. It's not rare to witness these weaklings suddenly burst out in fits of vehement bodily movement and outlandish gibberish. It's a manifestation of their inner essence: chaotic, insane, infantile, retarded, epileptic, and so on. This is why this concept of an absolute authority figure is so appealing to them; they seek some higher power that will dominate them, that will direct their movement - control them as they are incapable of controlling themselves.

Specimen 1.)




Specimens number 2, 3, and 4:



If you have taken notes already on the specimens, you will notice the clear-cut clinical insanity manifested. There are grave malfunctions occurring within their craniums. Short-circuting and such which renders them unable to employ their critical reasoning faculties.
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:43 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Perpetual, except for the first bold you make, the rest is so-so,, doesn't strike me as profound scholarship; for example,

Quote:
He will reign inasmuch as he will incarnate precisely the possibility of a future.The Caesarism of the Overman—nonviolent Caesarism ("Caesar with the soul of Christ")—

is Not non-violent Caesarism that N. was getting at, - laughable! Cf. WTP, 983. N. was remarking compared to the need for blond beasts like Caesar to overcome and conquer their own sense of pity, "forgiving one's enemies" like Christ did is "child's play". Christ's forgiving of enemies would be like tinkering with toys to a Caesar-like being faced with the enormous task of conquering his own pity and being Hard to work on mankind like a sculptor, an artist. I quote;

"Education in those rulers' virtues that master even one's benevolence and pity: the great cultivator's virtues ("forgiving one's enemies") is child's play by comparison), the affect of the creator must be elevated - no longer to work on marble! - The exceptional situation and powerful position of those beings (compared with any prince hitherto): the Roman Caesar with Christ's soul." [WTP, 983]

How is what you say here any different than this(continuing that quote):

Quote :
must be understood as a tyranny of an artist. The "Masters of the Earth" will, as artists do, mold and fashion the masses of humanity to the extent to which, unknown to these masses, they can serve  the ''masters" as an instrument. Indeed, only these latter will be conscious of any higher goal. Moreover, this "artistic" side of the Overman does not only signify that he shall gather into himself all the characteristics of various creators of the past (scholars, heroes, poets); it really points to something quite different from artistic talents or gifts, even prodigious ones. It points out that art is henceforth to be acknowledged as the highest value, that the principle of evaluation has been fundamentally turned about.

Lyssa wrote:
This is such poor phrasing; Dionysos does not "want to be" a martyr. What follows will make clear.
Note that it was N.'s opinion that the Xt. cult of Christ's death and resurrection, etc. were imitated copies of oriental mystery cults, and so any question asking was Dionysos like Christ is already improper. In the foll., its the etymology of Dionysos, from which the Xt. cult prepares the inversion of the "Liberator"...


Are you saying the understanding of the etymolgy of Dionysus(understood in the above) changes the significance of Christ in Nietzsche understood by this author (Allison David).
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:13 pm

Perpetual wrote:
Lyssa wrote:Perpetual, except for the first bold you make, the rest is so-so,, doesn't strike me as profound scholarship; for example,

Quote:
He will reign inasmuch as he will incarnate precisely the possibility of a future.The Caesarism of the Overman—nonviolent Caesarism ("Caesar with the soul of Christ")—

is Not non-violent Caesarism that N. was getting at, - laughable! Cf. WTP, 983. N. was remarking compared to the need for blond beasts like Caesar to overcome and conquer their own sense of pity, "forgiving one's enemies" like Christ did is "child's play". Christ's forgiving of enemies would be like tinkering with toys to a Caesar-like being faced with the enormous task of conquering his own pity and being Hard to work on mankind like a sculptor, an artist. I quote;

"Education in those rulers' virtues that master even one's benevolence and pity: the great cultivator's virtues ("forgiving one's enemies") is child's play by comparison), the affect of the creator must be elevated - no longer to work on marble! - The exceptional situation and powerful position of those beings (compared with any prince hitherto): the Roman Caesar with Christ's soul." [WTP, 983]

How is what you say here any different than this(continuing that quote):

Quote :must be understood as a tyranny of an artist. The "Masters of the Earth" will, as artists do, mold and fashion the masses of humanity to the extent to which, unknown to these masses, they can serve  the ''masters" as an instrument. Indeed, only these latter will be conscious of any higher goal. Moreover, this "artistic" side of the Overman does not only signify that he shall gather into himself all the characteristics of various creators of the past (scholars, heroes, poets); it really points to something quite different from artistic talents or gifts, even prodigious ones. It points out that art is henceforth to be acknowledged as the highest value, that the principle of evaluation has been fundamentally turned about.


The continuation that reads... "nonviolent Caesarism ("Caesar with the soul of Christ")— must be understood..."  followed by the tyranny of an artist working on humanity.
I feel that is not how it must be understood.
I'm pointing at the gap between the two connectors - it neglects to explain the tyranny is on oneself and one's own pity first which is what even makes a caesarian artist possible, or art as capable of being the highest value possible. It is not the non-violent aspect N. was emphasizing, but the heights of blondness one must already BE to court christ's forgiving one's enemies as if it were child's play... a Caesar must be able to afford to possess the soul of Christ.

Quote :

Lyssa wrote:This is such poor phrasing; Dionysos does not "want to be" a martyr. What follows will make clear.
Note that it was N.'s opinion that the Xt. cult of Christ's death and resurrection, etc. were imitated copies of oriental mystery cults, and so any question asking was Dionysos like Christ is already improper. In the foll., its the etymology of Dionysos, from which the Xt. cult prepares the inversion of the "Liberator"...

Are you saying the understanding of the etymolgy of Dionysus(understood in the above) changes the significance of Christ in Nietzsche understood by this author (Allison David).


No, I am saying, the etymology of Dionysos is what allowed imitators to set up the Christ-cult through and therefore inverting the meaning of what "Liberation" means, as believed by N.  Liberation in the mouth of the Crucified [life is suffering and therefore sin, life is something to be liberated from] is the exact opposite of what Dionysos stood for as the Liberator.

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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:13 am

Does God Exist?

William Lane Craig says there are good reasons for thinking that He does.

On April 8, 1966, Time magazine carried a lead story for which the cover was completely black except for three words emblazoned in bright, red letters against the dark background: “IS GOD DEAD?” The story described the so-called ‘Death of God’ movement then current in American theology. But, to paraphrase Mark Twain, it seemed that the news of God’s demise was “greatly exaggerated.” For at the same time that theologians were writing God’s obituary, a new generation of young philosophers was re-discovering His vitality.

Back in the 1940s and ’50s it was widely believed among philosophers that any talk about God is meaningless, since it is not verifiable by the five senses. The collapse of this Verificationism was perhaps the most important philosophical event of the twentieth century. Its downfall meant a resurgence of metaphysics, along with other traditional problems of philosophy which Verificationism had suppressed. Accompanying this resurgence came something altogether unanticipated: a renaissance of Christian philosophy.

The turning point probably came in 1967 with the publication of Alvin Plantinga’s God and Other Minds, which applied the tools of analytic philosophy to questions in the philosophy of religion with an unprecedented rigor and creativity. In Plantinga’s train has followed a host of Christian philosophers, writing in professional journals and participating in professional conferences and publishing with the finest academic presses. The face of Anglo-American philosophy has been transformed as a result. Atheism, although perhaps still the dominant viewpoint in Western universities, is a philosophy in retreat. In a recent article, University of Western Michigan philosopher Quentin Smith laments what he calls “the desecularization of academia that evolved in philosophy departments since the late 1960s.” (‘The Metaphilosophy of Naturalism’, Philo, Vol 4, #2, at philoonline.org). Complaining of naturalists’ passivity in the face of the wave of “intelligent and talented theists entering academia today,” Smith concludes, “God is not ‘dead’ in academia; he returned to life in the late 1960s and is now alive and well in his last academic stronghold, philosophy departments.”

The renaissance of Christian philosophy has been accompanied by a resurgence of interest in natural theology – that branch of theology which seeks to prove God’s existence without appeal to the resources of authoritative divine revelation – for instance, through philosophical argument. All of the traditional philosophical arguments for God’s existence, such as the cosmological, teleological, moral, and ontological arguments, not to mention creative, new arguments, find intelligent and articulate defenders on the contemporary philosophical scene.

But what about the so-called ‘New Atheism’ exemplified by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens? Doesn’t it herald a reversal of this trend? Not really. As is evident from the authors it interacts with – or rather, doesn’t interact with – the New Atheism is, in fact, a pop-cultural phenomenon lacking in intellectual muscle and blissfully ignorant of the revolution that has taken place in Anglo-American philosophy. It tends to reflect the scientism of a bygone generation, rather than the contemporary intellectual scene.

Eight Reasons in Support of God’s Existence

I believe that God’s existence best explains a wide range of the data of human experience. Let me briefly mention eight such cases.

(I) God is the best explanation why anything at all exists.

Suppose you were hiking through the forest and came upon a ball lying on the ground. You would naturally wonder how it came to be there. If your hiking buddy said to you, “Forget about it! It just exists!” you would think he was either joking or just wanted you to keep moving. No one would take seriously the idea that the ball just exists without any explanation. Now notice than merely increasing the size of the ball until it becomes coextensive with the universe does nothing to either provide, or remove the need for, an explanation of its existence.

So what is the explanation of the existence of the universe (by ‘the universe’ I mean all of spacetime reality)? The explanation of the universe can lie only in a transcendent reality beyond it – beyond space and time – the existence of which transcendent reality is metaphysically necessary (otherwise its existence would also need explaining). Now there is only one way I can think of to get a contingent entity like the universe from a necessarily existing cause, and that is if the cause is an agent who can freely choose to create the contingent reality. It therefore follows that the best explanation of the existence of the contingent universe is a transcendent personal being – which is what everybody means by ‘God’.

We can summarize this reasoning as follows:

1. Every contingent thing has an explanation of its existence.

2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is a transcendent, personal being.

3. The universe is a contingent thing.

4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence.

5. Therefore, the explanation of the universe is a transcendent, personal being.

– which is what everybody means by ‘God’.

(II) God is the best explanation of the origin of the universe.

We have pretty strong evidence that the universe has not existed eternally into the past, but had a beginning a finite time ago. In 2003, the mathematician Arvind Borde, and physicists Alan Guth and Alexander Vilenkin were able to prove that any universe which has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past, but must have a past spacetime boundary (i.e., a beginning). What makes their proof so powerful is that it holds so long as time and causality hold, regardless of the physical description of the very early universe. Because we don’t yet have a quantum theory of gravity, we can’t yet provide a physical description of the first split-second of the universe; but the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem is independent of one’s theory of gravitation. For instance, their theorem implies that the quantum vacuum state which may have characterized the early universe cannot have existed eternally into the past, but must itself have had a beginning. Even if our universe is just a tiny part of a so-called ‘multiverse’, composed of many universes, their theorem requires that the multiverse itself must have had a beginning.

Of course, highly speculative physical scenarios, such as loop quantum gravity models, string models, even closed timelike curves, have been proposed to try to avoid this absolute beginning. These models are fraught with problems, but the bottom line is that none of these theories, even if true, succeeds in restoring an eternal past for the universe. Last year, at a conference in Cambridge celebrating the seventieth birthday of Stephen Hawking, Vilenkin delivered a paper entitled ‘Did the Universe Have a Beginning?’, which surveyed current cosmology with respect to that question. He argued that “none of these scenarios can actually be past-eternal.” Specifically, Vilenkin closed the door on three models attempting to avert the implication of his theorem: eternal inflation, a cyclic universe, and an ‘emergent’ universe which exists for eternity as a static seed before expanding. Vilenkin concluded, “ All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”

But then the inevitable question arises: Why did the universe come into being? What brought the universe into existence? There must have been a transcendent cause which brought the universe into being – a cause outside the universe itself.

We can summarize this argument thus far as follows:

1. The universe began to exist.

2. If the universe began to exist, then the universe has a transcendent cause.

3. Therefore, the universe has a transcendent cause.

By the very nature of the case, that cause of the physical universe must be an immaterial (i.e., non-physical) being. Now there are only two types of things that could possibly fit that description: either an abstract object like a number, or an unembodied mind/consciousness. But abstract objects don’t stand in causal relations to physical things. The number 7, for example, has no effect on anything. Therefore the cause of the universe is an unembodied mind. Thus again we are brought, not merely to a transcendent cause of the universe, but to its Personal Creator.

(III) God is the best explanation of the applicability of mathematics to the physical world.

Philosophers and scientists have puzzled over what physicist Eugene Wigner called “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.” How is it that a mathematical theorist like Peter Higgs can sit down at his desk and, by pouring over mathematical equations, predict the existence of a fundamental particle which, thirty years later, after investing millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours, experimentalists are finally able to detect? Mathematics is the language of nature. But how is this to be explained? If mathematical objects like numbers and mathematical theorems are abstract entities causally isolated from the physical universe, then the applicability of mathematics is, in the words of philosopher of mathematics Mary Leng, “a happy coincidence.” On the other hand, if mathematical objects are just useful fictions, how is it that nature is written in the language of these fictions? The naturalist has no explanation for the uncanny applicability of mathematics to the physical world. By contrast, the theist has a ready explanation: When God created the physical universe He designed it in terms of the mathematical structure which He had in mind.

We can summarize this argument as follows:

1. If God did not exist, the applicability of mathematics would be just a happy coincidence.

2. The applicability of mathematics is not just a happy coincidence.

3. Therefore, God exists.

(IV) God is the best explanation of the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life.

SETI dish
Looking for intelligent life

In recent decades scientists have been stunned by the discovery that the initial conditions of the Big Bang were fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent life with a precision and delicacy that literally defy human comprehension. This fine-tuning is of two sorts. First, when the laws of nature are expressed as equations, you find appearing in them certain constants, such as the gravitational constant. The values of these constants are independent of the laws of nature. Second, in addition to these constants, there are certain arbitrary quantities which define the initial conditions on which the laws of nature operate – for example, the amount of entropy (disorder) in the universe. Now these constants and quantities fall into an extraordinarily narrow range of life-permitting values. Were these constants or quantities to be altered by less than a hair’s breadth, the life-permitting balance of nature would be destroyed, and life would not exist.

There are three live explanatory options for this extraordinary fine-tuning: physical necessity, chance, or design.

Physical necessity is not, however, a plausible explanation, because the finely-tuned constants and quantities are independent of the laws of nature. Therefore, they are not physically necessary.

So could this fine-tuning be due to chance? The problem with this explanation is that the odds of all the constants and quantities’ randomly falling into the incomprehensibly narrow life-permitting range are just so infinitesimal that they cannot be reasonably accepted. Therefore the proponents of the chance explanation have been forced to postulate the existence of a ‘World Ensemble’ of other universes, preferably infinite in number and randomly ordered, so that life-permitting universes like ours would appear by chance somewhere in the Ensemble. Not only is this hypothesis, to borrow Richard Dawkins’ phrase, “an unparsimonious extravagance,” it faces an insuperable objection. By far, the most probable observable universes in a World Ensemble would be worlds in which a single brain fluctuated into existence out of the vacuum and observed its otherwise empty world. So, if our world were just a random member of the World Ensemble, by all probability we ought to be having observations like that. Since we don’t, that strongly disconfirms the World Ensemble hypothesis. So chance is also not a good explanation. Thus,

1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.

2. The fine-tuning of the universe is not due to physical necessity or chance.

3. Therefore, the fine-tuning of the universe is due to design.

Thus, the fine-tuning of the universe constitutes evidence for a cosmic Designer.

(V) God is the best explanation of intentional states of consciousness.

Philosophers are puzzled by states of intentionality. Intentionality is the property of being about something or of something. It signifies the object-directedness of our thoughts. For example, I can think about my summer vacation, or I can think of my wife. No physical object has intentionality in this sense. A chair or a stone or a glob of tissue like the brain is not about or of something else. Only mental states or states of consciousness are about other things. In The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions (2011), the materialist Alex Rosenberg recognizes this fact, and concludes that for atheists, there really are no intentional states. Rosenberg boldly claims that we never really think about anything. But this seems incredible. Obviously, I am thinking about Rosenberg’s argument – and so are you! This seems to me to be a reductio ad absurdum of his atheism. By contrast, for theists, because God is a mind, it’s hardly surprising that there should be other, finite minds, with intentional states. Thus intentional states fit comfortably into a theistic worldview.

So we may argue:

1. If God did not exist, intentional states of consciousness would not exist.

2. But intentional states of consciousness do exist.

3. Therefore, God exists.

(VI) God is the best explanation of objective moral values and duties.

In our experience we apprehend moral values and duties which impose themselves as objectively binding and true. For example, we recognize that it’s wrong to walk into an elementary school with an automatic weapon and shoot little boys and girls and their teachers. On a naturalistic view, however, there is nothing really wrong with this: moral values are just the subjective by-products of biological evolution and social conditioning, and have no objective validity.

Alex Rosenberg is brutally honest about the implications of his atheism here too. He declares, “there is no such thing as… morally right or wrong.” (The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, p.145); “Individual human life is meaningless… and without ultimate moral value.” (p.17); “We need to face the fact that nihilism is true.” (p.95). By contrast, the theist grounds objective moral values in God, and our moral duties in His commands. The theist thus has the explanatory resources to ground objective moral values and duties which the atheist lacks.

Hence we may argue:

1. Objective moral values and duties exist.

2. But if God did not exist, objective moral values and duties would not exist.

3. Therefore, God exists.

(VII) The very possibility of God’s existence implies that God exists.

In order to understand this argument, you need to understand what philosophers mean by ‘possible worlds’. A possible world is just a way the world might have been. It is a description of a possible reality. So a possible world is not a planet or a universe or any kind of concrete object, it is a world-description. The actual world is the description that is true. Other possible worlds are descriptions that are not in fact true but which might have been true. To say that something exists in some possible world is to say that there is some consistent description of reality which includes that entity. To say that something exists in every possible world means that no matter which description is true, that entity will be included in the description. For example, unicorns do not in fact exist, but there are some possible worlds in which unicorns exist. On the other hand, many mathematicians think that numbers exist in every possible world.

Now with that in mind, consider the ontological argument, which was discovered in the year 1011 by the monk Anselm of Canterbury. God, Anselm observes, is by definition the greatest being conceivable. If you could conceive of anything greater than God, then that would be God. Thus, God is the greatest conceivable being – a maximally great being. So what would such a being be like? He would be all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, and He would exist in every logically possible world. A being which lacked any of those properties would not be maximally great: we could conceive of something greater – a being which did have all these properties.

But this implies that if God’s existence is even possible, then God must exist. For if a maximally great being exists in any possible world, He exists in all of them. That’s part of what it means to be maximally great – to be all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good in every logically possible world. So if God’s existence is even possible, then He exists in every logically possible world – and therefore in the actual world.

We can summarize this argument as follows:

1. It is possible that a maximally great being (God) exists.

2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.

3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

5. Therefore, a maximally great being exists in the actual world.

6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.

7. Therefore, God exists.

It might surprise you to learn that steps 2-7 of this argument are relatively uncontroversial. Most philosophers would agree that if God’s existence is even possible, then He must exist.

So the question is, is God’s existence possible? Well, what do you think? The atheist has to maintain that it’s impossible that God exists. That is, he has to maintain that the concept of God is logically incoherent, like the concept of a married bachelor or a round square. The problem is that the concept of God just doesn’t appear to be incoherent in that way. The idea of a being who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good in every possible world seems perfectly coherent. Moreover, as we’ve seen, there are other arguments for God’s existence which at least suggest that it’s possible that God exists. So I’ll just leave it with you. Do you think, as I do, that it’s at least possible that God exists? If so, then it follows logically that He does exist.

(VIII) God can be personally known and experienced.

This isn’t really an argument for God’s existence; rather it’s the claim that you can know God exists wholly apart from arguments, by personally experiencing him. Philosophers call beliefs grasped in this way ‘properly basic beliefs’. They aren’t based on some other beliefs; rather they’re part of the foundation of a person’s system of beliefs. Other properly basic beliefs would be the belief in the reality of the past or the existence of the external world. When you think about it, neither of these beliefs can be proved by argument. How could you prove that the world was not created five minutes ago with built-in appearances of age like food in our stomachs from the breakfasts we never really ate and memory traces in our brains of events we never really experienced? How could you prove that you are not a brain in a vat of chemicals being stimulated with electrodes by some mad scientist to believe that you are reading this article? We don’t base such beliefs on argument; rather they’re part of the foundations of our system of beliefs.

But although these sorts of beliefs are basic for us, that doesn’t mean that they’re arbitrary. Rather they’re grounded in the sense that they’re formed in the context of certain experiences. In the experiential context of seeing and feeling and hearing things, I naturally form the belief that there are certain physical objects which I am sensing. Thus, my basic beliefs are not arbitrary, but appropriately grounded in experience. There may be no way to prove such beliefs, and yet it’s perfectly rational to hold them. Such beliefs are thus not merely basic, but properly basic. In the same way, belief in God is for those who seek Him a properly basic belief grounded in their experience of God.

Now if this is so, then there’s a danger that philosophical arguments for God could actually distract your attention from God Himself. The Bible promises, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:Cool We mustn’t so concentrate on the external arguments that we fail to hear the inner voice of God speaking to our hearts. For those who listen, God becomes a personal reality in their lives.

Summary

In summary, we’ve seen eight respects in which God provides a better account of the world than naturalism: God is the best explanation of

(I) Why anything at all exists.

(II) The origin of the universe.

(III) The applicability of mathematics to the physical world.

(IV) The fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life.

(V) Intentional states of consciousness.

(VI) Objective moral values and duties.

Moreover

(VII) The very possibility of God’s existence implies that God exists.

(VIII) God can be personally experienced and known.

©️ Prof. William Lane Craig, 2013
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:19 pm

reasonvemotion,

William Lane Craig is known for rehashing medieval god arguments. My view is that none of them are very good. Is there one argument in particular that you think is the very best and most convincing? It might be worth it's own thread. This is kind of a tangent, but whatever. Here's my rebuttal to the rehashed cosmological argument. (I spruced it up a bit)...

Everything hitherto existent had a cause that was insistent,
And the immense and incalculable universe once became,
So he concludes, with no surprise, a cause gave the universe size.
And here what many will apprise implies a further claim,
‘God loves you,’ he’ll include, ‘and at heaven you ought to aim’ -
Preparing for a Christian shame.

Ah, not for ages have I read such faulty premises in a thread,
And ignorance they do spread by setting fallacy aflame.
Surely you would like to learn – from the argument of our concern
What support we can discern – discern the line to blame.
To William Lane Craig is owed the argument’s acclaim.
That clumsy hack I will defame.

For what we require to see is some such reason to agree,
With Craig – though vague is the argument’s opening claim.
‘It should be clear’, was all he said, thinking that would hold its stead
‘Intuitive in your head’, and that was all he would proclaim –
‘Intuitively obvious’, is all that supports the opening claim; -
That is all, and pretty lame.

Presently we must recognize, that things we often visualize,
Like tigers, tables, rabbits, or similar things that we could name,
At one time began to exist; and so for others that do persist,
And so for others we could list, listing whatever once became,
But the universe is not a ‘thing’ – that’s the point that they disclaim; -
Logically a set is just a frame.

It is a point that gives me pause, to think all ‘things’ must have a cause,
When the universe is not a ‘thing’, but the ‘set’ of all we can name.
The Room of rooms may have no source, no start or end on its course,
No beginning to endorse without Craig’s error there to blame.
The error that the ‘set’ obeys the rules of what it does frame.
An error is here to blame.

And so from here we must acquit, the error we cannot permit,
And wonder why God’s creation ex nihilo is a better fit.
‘It’s not,’ I say, with no lament, it’s on a par for our consent;
Not more deserving of assent, but comparable all the same –
Material cause, or efficient cause, lacking all the same.
And this is where I end my game.
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:31 pm

Reason, even if the prime mover theory is true, how do we determine which God it is? Is it Brahman? Shiva? Allah? Yahweh? Buddha consciousness?

I seriously doubt it's Jehova.

I used to be very interested in monism, the Absolute, Brahman.

This video resonated with me a lot:


Do you pray to God, Reason?
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:40 am

The word God is an abstract expression which anybody can incorporate into language. It is, “not the exclusive property of any one tradition,” according to religious historian Karen Armstrong’s interpretation of ancient texts. Its meaning has continually changed and has been dependent on one’s particular time and environment. Famed psychiatrist Carl Jung emphasized the psychological significance of this word:

“I cannot define for you what God is.

I can only say that my work has proved empirically that the pattern of God exists in every man and that this pattern has at its disposal the greatest of all his energies for transformation and transfiguration of his natural being.”
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:41 pm

Quote :
Together with sexuality, and in direct connection with the theorisation
of love, the context in which the question of the Real in
Zˇizˇek returns without fail is religion, and more specifically
Christianity. Zˇizˇek essentially brandishes Christianity as the religion
that, more than any other, embodies the potential ethicopolitical
impact of the Real. In his defence of Christianity,Zˇizˇek has
Metastases of the Real drawn upon himself a heavy dose of criticism from different quarters, particularly – as one might expect – from leftist and generally
Marxist or post-Marxist positions (see for example Parker, 2004). In
our opinion Zˇizˇek’s stance is too often taken at face value. What
risks going amiss is the theoretical focus of his argument, which
changes radically the very standard perception of Christianity
itself – as usual with Zˇizˇek, we are dealing with a ‘symptomatic
reading’.

Fully aware that in modernity religion cannot function as a ‘binding
force of social substance’ (Zˇizˇek, 2003b, 5), he aims to restore the subversive
kernel of Christianity by claiming that ‘this kernel is accessible
only to a materialist approach – and vice versa: to become a true dialectical
materialist, one should go through the Christian experience’
(Zˇizˇek, 2003b, 6). It is, first and foremost, a question of belief.
Although in the enlightened West nobody ‘really believes’ anymore,
this attitude of cynical distance from direct belief (as we have seen in
Part I) is symptomatic of our secret immersion, enjoyment and identification
with the values expressed by our symbolic universe.2 By shunning
direct belief as an old-fashioned stance practiced only by the
‘primitive other’ we actually consign ourselves wholly to the merciless
rule of capitalist ideology – which, of course, demands unwavering
belief! Against the disavowed and opportunistic functioning of today’s
belief, Zˇizˇek fully endorses the Christian narrative of death and resurrection
by reading it through Saint Paul, i.e. as a powerful injunction
to undergo ‘symbolic death’ so as to generate the conditions for an
institutional reconfiguration of symbolic space. No wonder Zˇizˇek sees
Saint Paul as a Leninist: what matters to Saint Paul is the ‘true Leninist
business … of organizing the new party called the Christian community’
(Zˇizˇek, 2003b, 9). The whole point of Zˇizˇek’s insisted reference to
‘Pauline militancy’ is that it allows him to set up a powerful connection
between Saint Paul and Christ. The aim is to demonstrate that the
subversive core of Christianity lies in the structural coincidence of Fall
and Redemption, insofar as the Fall popularised by Christ’s ‘narrative’
represents a shattering encounter with abstract negativity that signals
the intervention of the Real, thus prompting the birth of the new symbolic
community (the Holy Spirit) via Saint Paul.

To put it another way, we could say that Zˇizˇek conflates the
Christian narrative with the Lacanian logic of the identification
with the symptom. The symptom here is explicitly connoted as the
The Miracle of Love and the Real of Christianity
‘excremental remainder’ of the very process of symbolisation that
defines the Christian doctrine:

Christianity’s entire theological edifice relies on such an excremental
identification – on the identification with the poor figure
of the suffering Christ dying in pain between the two thieves.
The artifice by means of which Christianity became the ruling
ideology was to combine this radical excremental identification
with full endorsement of the existing hierarchical social order
(Zˇizˇek, 2000a, 229).

Christ as excremental remainder, therefore, functions both as
closure and potential breaking point of the symbolic order it
belongs to. For that reason he represents a thoroughly ambiguous
figure.


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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:43 pm

Quote :
In The Fragile Absolute, however, Zˇizˇek reassesses this ambiguity by
asserting the core of the Christian legacy as a fully-blown militant
attitude of a strictly speaking non-humanist kind, one beginning
with a radical, traumatic gesture of ‘uncoupling’. By uncoupling
Zˇizˇek means the arduous work of disengaging from the logic that
enjoins us to our particular symbolic order. This intervention is best
epitomised by Pauline agape, the work of love, which involves the
suspension of superego pressure and, consequently, of the link
between the law and its transgression: ‘the proper Christian uncoupling
suspends not so much the explicit laws but, rather, their implicit spectral
obscene supplement’ (Zˇizˇek, 2000b, 130). In other words, Christianity
disturbs the balance of the masculine position, where the totalised
field is sustained by the exception. The proper difference introduced
by Christianity, Zˇizˇek argues, is that the exception is always-already
embedded in universality: the inconsistency normally neutralised
by the exception is inscribed as the very foundational feature of
Christianity. This feature is of course Pauline agape, love, defined by
Saint Paul in Corinthians as a dimension accessible only by incomplete
beings, beings aware of the fundamental incompleteness of
their knowledge: ‘love is not an exception to the All of knowledge,
but precisely that “nothing” which makes even the complete
series/field of knowledge incomplete’ (Zˇizˇek, 2000b, 146).

As a predictable result, Zˇizˇek maintains that the dimension of
Christian love, in its feminine guise of not-all, erodes and subverts
the given order by ignoring the masculine logic of retribution/transgression
and situating itself fully within such order. The most
unequivocal example of this logic is perhaps the famous phrase
from Jesus’ ‘Sermon on the Mount’ in the Gospel of Saint Matthew:
‘If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other
also’ (Matthew 5:39). As Zˇizˇek notes (see Zˇizˇek, 2000b, 125), what is
at stake here is not stupid (potentially perverse) masochism, but
rather an attempt to interrupt the vicious cycle of the logic of retribution
and, simultaneously, cause a kind of ‘unplugging’ from
social substance. The implication is that obeying the law thoroughly
proves to be much more subversive than transgressing it, since complete
identification allows one to perceive and bring to the surface
the very inconsistency that grounds the law itself. From a sociopolitical
perspective, then, what does Christian love qua feminine
position tell us? In Zˇizˇek’s words, ‘that in order effectively to liberate
oneself from the grip of existing social reality, one should first
renounce the transgressive fantasmatic supplement that attaches us
to it’ (Zˇizˇek, 2000b, 149). To Zˇizˇek, such a renunciation is not only
ethical, but also eminently political, as it is aimed at redefining the
very framework of the social.

In the final analysis, it is according to the above reasoning that
we should also read the mystery of the Crucifixion. Zˇizˇek insists
that Christ’s death should be read as a political event signalling the
suspension of meaning through the dissolution of the symptom
qua grounding exception. The Crucifixion is therefore, stricto sensu,
a feminine event, where ‘the very structure of sacrifice, as it were,
sublates itself, giving birth to a new subject no longer rooted in a
particular substance, redeemed of all particular links (the “Holy
Spirit”)’ (Zˇizˇek, 2000b, 158). The specific modality of sacrifice under
scrutiny here is a sacrifice ‘without object’, that is to say an empty
gesture which is not tied to any kind of (no matter how unconscious)
opportunistic logic, but rather aimed at the very inconsistency
of the symbolic edifice. This sacrifice is typically feminine:
‘While men sacrifice themselves for a Thing (country, freedom,
honor), only women are able to sacrifice themselves for nothing.
(Or: men are moral, while only women are properly ethical)’ (Zˇizˇek,
2001c, 78). With regard to the connection between femininity and
Christianity, then, Zˇizˇek’s wager is that both fields are, in their
deepest connotations, defined by the implicitly revolutionary
gesture of the ‘empty sacrifice’. It is precisely this empty, non-symbolisable
gesture that sets up the connection with the Real breaking
point of a particular order, since the Real can only be accounted for
in terms of an imperceptible and ultimately illusory appearance
stripped of any symbolic reference, an evanescent and utterly substance-
less Schein. Among the three dimensions of the Real referred
to in Chapter 5, then, the crucial one for Zˇizˇek’s approach to
Christianity is the ‘imaginary Real’, which he links to the figure of
Christ as the miserable, abject body on the cross bathed in a
sublime light.

As Zˇizˇek regularly acknowledges, his reading is heavily influenced
by Hegel’s interpretation of Christ’s demise. In his Lectures on the
Philosophy of Religion, Hegel comments on the Christian narrative of
‘rebirth through radical self-contraction’: Christ’s sacrifice is a
gesture of sublation (Aufhebung) whereby the divine, as it were, ‘traverses
its own fantasy’ (identifies with its own lack) for the birth of a
new subject, the new community bound together by the Holy Spirit.
Rather than breeding disenchantment, cynicism and resignation,
the knowledge that ‘the king is naked’ – that God is the empty
recipient of an impossible demand – works, in Zˇizˇek’s reading, as an
exhortation to reconfigure the status of a given social totality. Let us
not forget that Hegel defines Christ as ‘the God-Man’ whose
‘absolute finitude’ is reflected in the fact that he died ‘the aggravated
death of the evil-doer’, which implies that ‘in Him humanity
was carried to its furthest point’. The ‘divine finitude’ that Hegel
reads into the death of Christ, however, implies that the latter be
intended ‘in its polemical attitude towards outward things’, rather
than as a celebration of religion per se:

Not only is the act [Christ’s death] whereby the natural will
yields itself up here represented in a sensible form, but all that
is peculiar to the individual, all those interests and personal
ends with which the natural will can occupy itself, all that is
great and counted in the world, is at the same time buried in
the grave of the Spirit. This is the revolutionary element by
means of which the world is given a totally new form. And yet
in this yielding up of the natural will, the finite, the Other-
Being or otherness, is at the same time transfigured (Hegel,
1962, 89).

The passage is highly significant as it suggests how any radical transformation
depends on the ‘yielding up of the natural will’, insofar
as this intrinsically divine ‘passage through the zero (or lowest)
point of humanity’ is ‘the revolutionary element’ that gives the
world ‘a totally new form’. The self-effacement performed by the
‘contingent divine’, in other words, is the fundamental condition
for its return in the form of a new symbolic configuration:

Now, however, a further determination comes into play – God
has died, God is dead – this is the most frightful of all thoughts,
that all that is eternal, all that is true is not, that negation itself is
found in God; … The course of thought does not, however, stop
short here; on the contrary, thought begins to retrace its steps:
God, that is to say, maintains Himself in this process, and the
latter is only the death of death. God comes to life again, and
thus things are reversed (Hegel, 1962, 91 our emphasis).


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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:45 pm

Quote :
Hegel asserts the shameful death of the God-Man as the intervention
of an instance of shattering negativity through which Spirit
enacts its conversion, its movement from ‘negation’ to ‘negation of
negation’ (the death of death). It is this traumatic encounter that
Zˇizˇek aims to salvage in his defence of the Christian legacy, insofar
as he sees in it a revolutionary potential, a powerful narrative telling
us that the void of the Real can be reached – that the impossible can
be accomplished. Put differently, Christ’s subjective trajectory from
son of God to a miserable human being who dies on the cross abandoned
by his Father, epitomises the workings of death-drive. At the
end of The Puppet and the Dwarf, his second book explicitly devoted
to Christianity, Zˇizˇek writes:

The point of this book is that, at the very core of Christianity,
there is another dimension. When Christ dies, what dies with
him is the secret hope discernible in ‘Father, why hast thou forsaken
me?’: the hope that there is a father who has abandoned
me. The ‘Holy Spirit’ is the community deprived of its support in
the big Other. … Christianity … attacks the religious hard core
that survives even in humanism, even up to Stalinism, with its
belief in History as the ‘big Other’ that decides on the ‘objective
meaning’ of our deeds (Zˇizˇek, 2003b, 171).

Zˇizˇek’s defence of Christianity is perfectly consistent with his attestation
of atheism, in as much as it deploys as its central referent the
abyss of our existential experience deprived of any support in the
big Other. If taken to its extreme, this implies that ‘in the figure of
Christ dying on the cross, God himself turns into an atheist, experiencing
himself as abandoned by God-the-Father’ (Zˇizˇek, 2004c, 61).
This position is modelled on Lacan’s own paradoxical claim that
those who are normally regarded or regard themselves as atheists
(those who boldly/heroically refuse to consider the truth-potential
embodied in religious faiths) are exactly the opposite of what they
claim to be, i.e. the staunchest of believers (in history, science, love,
human solidarity, etc.). In a typical Lacanian move, Zˇizˇek turns
around the standard Marxian view of religion as the ‘opium of the
people’ and locates in it its symptom, the thoroughly alienated
and disaffected core that opens up the opposite path, which we
might call ‘the practice of atheism through Christianity’.3 From this
angle, Zˇizˇek remains profoundly anti-clerical and generally hostile to
any form of organised religious faith. His appraisal of Christianity is
a militant one, strictly in line with his symptomatic reading of
Lenin. In both cases what is at stake is freedom, intended as the
power to break with the seductive lure of symbolic efficiency. For
Zˇizˇek, Christ and Lenin represent two crucial examples of an
intervention that successfully politicises the constitutive excess
inherent to humanity, that specific ‘undead’ quality known as
death-drive.

Ultimately, it is this traumatic abyss of freedom which is at issue
in Zˇizˇek’s reading of ‘Christian love’. One the best way to epitomise
this paradox is by referring to the deeper meaning of the word
‘betrayal’. In The Puppet and the Dwarf, Zˇizˇek claims that the real
(Real) hero of the New Testament is Judas, since the divine plan
could only be executed through his readiness to betray Christ and
accept eternal damnation (see Zˇizˇek, 2003b, 16). What we are
encouraged to do, therefore, is to interpret Judas’ gesture of betrayal
and consequent acceptance of sacrifice as the highest expression of
love, precisely because the path to universality (inclusive of its
founding negativity) necessarily implies a terrifying act of infidelity.
More precisely: to ‘betray out of love’ entails a crucial reflexive
movement whereby the loved object (Christ) is perceived as split
between its empirical persona and the (empty) place it occupies, the
Real void it gives body to. In his betrayal, therefore, Judas remains
faithful to what Christ represents, the Real abyss of freedom/negativity
that underscores his intervention. This means that ‘Christian
love is a violent passion to introduce a Difference, a gap in the order
of being’, and simultaneously that ‘violence is already the love
choice as such, which tears its object out of its context, elevating it
to the Thing’ (Zˇizˇek, 2003b, 33). Similarly, true fidelity is always
fidelity to the abyss of freedom embodied by a hero or loved person,
and it is in the ‘cruelty’ of such a paradox that one can discern the
militant edge of Zˇizˇek’s understanding of love.

At the same time Zˇizˇek claims that while fidelity to the Real of
freedom (the implicitly violent inscription of negativity that disturbs
a given balance) is always higher than our love/fidelity to an
empirical individual, the latter can emerge in all its categorical
power only as a kind of side-effect:

The message of true love is thus: even if you are everything to
me, I can survive without you, I am ready to forsake you for my
mission …. The underlying paradox is that love, precisely as the
Absolute, should not be posited as a direct goal – it should retain
the status of a byproduct, of something we get as undeserved
grace. Perhaps there is no greater love than that of a revolutionary
couple, where each of the two lovers is ready to abandon the
other at any moment if revolution demands it. It is along these
lines that we should look for the nonperverse reading of Christ’s
sacrifice, of his message to Judas: ‘Prove to me that I am everything
to you, so betray me for the sake of the revolutionary
mission of both of us!’ (Zˇizˇek, 2003b, 19–20).

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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Sat Dec 21, 2013 7:54 pm

The population of Atheists, in America, is going through the roof, and if you are one, you are now on the side that is winning, and if you count Atheism as a religion, it is the fastest growing religion in the history of the United States of America.  You are on the team that is winning, like the sands of the seas.  You are in the majority and the majority will rule, as atheism is following a much faster path of acceptance.

There is no God.


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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:04 pm

Christianity is still very strong in Latin America, and the U.S. loves its Latin immigrants... Then there's the Koreans and their new found love of Christianity.  Even if the majority of Americans become atheist that doesn't necessarily signal a "success."  There's still the problem of capitalism and the unhealthy way most people deal with any lack.

Quote :
Although in the enlightened West nobody ‘really believes’ anymore,
this attitude of cynical distance from direct belief (as we have seen in
Part I) is symptomatic of our secret immersion, enjoyment and identification
with the values expressed by our symbolic universe.2 By shunning
direct belief as an old-fashioned stance practiced only by the
‘primitive other’ we actually consign ourselves wholly to the merciless
rule of capitalist ideology – which, of course, demands unwavering
belief!

Nobody really not believes either, insomuch as people still believe in science, technology, art, love... anything that offers relief from the now or anything that might save us in the future(technology).


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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:26 pm

perpetualburn wrote:

Quote :
Christianity is still very strong in Latin America, and the U.S. loves its Latin immigrants... Then there's the Koreans and their new found love of Christianity.

It's more likely that non Christians will outnumber Christians by the year 2042.

The Empty Pew Syndrome.

"A contentious new proposal calls for the closing of state churches across Denmark, including nearly half of the churches in Copenhagen.

Reducing the number of churches in the city from 70 to about 35 will save millions of kroner and make worship better for Copenhagen's 350,000 churchgoers at a time when both membership and attendance is dwindling, according to Copenhagen diocese budget committee chairman Torben Larsen".

"During the past decades the number of Catholics attending Sunday Mass has dropped dramatically. Today less than 25% of Catholics attend Mass each Sunday, down from almost 75% in the 1950s.  Shrinking numbers of American nuns over the last few decades has spawned an investigation by the vatican Into "Sister Leadership" matters. The doctrinal assessment comes as a result of the vatican's belief that American nuns are not sufficiently promoting the Church's line on homosexuality and other issues".

Evangelical entrepreneurs had plans underway for the construction of "Bible park USA" in Tennessee, and for traditional Christian tourists, Jesus is crucified 6 days a week at Orlando's "Holy land" park.

Perhaps people don't want commercialized Christianity.
Perhaps they've had enough of McJesus style worship.
Perhaps after the scandals of pedophile priests in the Catholic church, they don't want to have their children used as targets.

Perhaps they just believe, There is no God.
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PostSubject: Re: The Masochistic, Self-Abasement Cult. Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:18 am

reasonvemotion wrote:
Does God Exist?


William Lane Craig says there are good reasons for thinking that He does.

(...)

(III) God is the best explanation of the applicability of mathematics to the physical world.



This is an example of how some people experience something, and then call it a spiritual experience or link it with stories about God.

Another example of how we can use mathematics to fool them are optical illusions.








reasonvemotion wrote:
"Perhaps people don't want commercialized Christianity."


Well, the old model of this business was: pray, and then pay

The new model is: place an order, pay, and then pray or play with other children of God... but please, don't waste our time, we're busy, we have a mortgage to pay...

BooKafé - a chain of cafes where you can have a lovely cake and a cup of tea or coffee, read books about God, meet new happy people who love you to bits, pray together to Lord Jesus and thank him for everything.


What a marriage - Christianity and the Bank. Lovely, isn't it?


Quote :
The BooKafé provides a pleasant and welcoming environment where you will find excellent Christian literature, besides enjoying flavorful coffee and differential service. The BooKafé offers books that lead to faith, making the word of God more accessible to people.

http://www.bookafe.com.br/en/
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