Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Tibet just sent a friendly and as always charming email regarding my original AoA posting, this is the relevant bit here: 'I must say I NEVER said that AIDS was a message from God (Tiny Tim did, maybe they are confusing us!); I just said that increasing disasters everywhere are a sign of apocalypse (or, from your angle, a sign we are in for lots of sunshine!)'. Fair enough, even though 'sign of apocalypse' or 'message from God' seems to me like a minor semantic difference, I do know that magazines can misquote, or take things out of context, and things get even worse when bits are sloppily retranslated and recycled on blogs like this one. Heathen that I am however, I can't resist adding that since religious believers are the ones traditionally responsible for the disasters that have caused most human bloodshed, agree with me or not on the premise, might it not therefore behove them to follow the original advice?!


Kristian said...


Religion as a man made concept is just another way for control along socio political lines.
This we can see by the way the Catholic belief system swings and sways in the wind to the current political mood of the time.
If you examine the various papal Bulls issued by the vatican you see how they during the ascent of fascism became crytpo Fascist in the 1930's, and in more liberal times adopted a quasi liberalistic air.
As we lurch into an arena populated by the Christian right we see darker emissions emanating from the Christian institutions of light.
I have lived in the Middle East and believe that Jesus did exist as a historical figure..........I believe he was an anti Roman statist but the bible has been rewritten so many times.
The most interesting figure in the bible is James the warrior who has been air brushed out of the bible mainly for his scathing diatribe against the rich.........which the church feared was being used by Marxists to infulence South American Miberation Theology in the 1970's

William Bennett said...

I agree with the basis of all your points - the Catholic church still essentially clings onto the twisted and patriarchical Augustine tradition, while making minor adjustments according to the prevailing climate; and I also believe you, perfectly naturally, are also buying into the widespread phenomenon of Jesus being what we want him to be, to fit neatly into our own worldviews and agendas. And interestingly, I aver this is how the gnostic Christians understood the purely spiritual entity that Jesus symbolically represents: Jesus is IN you (and by definition not outwith). There's clearly a big difference to what we hold as beliefs and what in fact happened, happens or will happen. Therefore I'm curious to know where you see the evidence lies and how likewise you go about presupposing the historicity of ANY Biblical character. To me, it's primarily a (patch)work of allegory, not of history.

Kristian said...

Hmmmmmm............very good post William and one which has left me thinking.
Which is a good thing.
Well here goes.
There is evidence that certain figures from the bible existed.
For instance Pontius Pilate for sure existed as the old Roman ruins that are based in certain areas of Palestine and I believe what is now Syria & Jordan bear his inscriptions and name, however on certain stone tablets his name is proclaimed to be slightly different to the English Translation.
A number of the disciples also have historical evidence left in the form of early scrolls and artifacts bearing their names as founders of certain churches in certain areas of what we now call the middle East.
There are also the dead sea scrolls however due to the vaticans fear these are not wholly allowed to be scrutinised by experts.
I agree with you one hundred percent on the idea of Gnostic thought and your comments made me ponder on my beliefs and how they make me view history( I thank you for that).
As you can see by my comments above I am unable to prove that other than 2-3 of the biblical characters exist and you no doubt will question those?
Maybe Jesus is a kind of quasi mythical figure along the lines of Robin hood or even Kaiser Soshe(The Usual Suspects) that is maniplulated by anybody who professes belief in him.
This makes the word of the lord pliable to any political or socio mindset.
I am a staunch aetheist William, I do not believe in any supernatural powers of any description however I do also believe that all myths originate from somewhere and deep in every myth exists a purely historical human being.
It is the duty of free thinkers to cut through the myth and find out the truth of the real historical figures.

Mentalaardvark said...

I prefer to cut through the myth of history in favour of the truth of allegory, filthy Papist that I am.
Lectorium Rosicrucianum have some good stuff, or the Atom Heart Muthas as I reckon they should rename themselves.
The persecution of the Cathars wasn't all bad though, as the Rosary resulted from the wars. 20,000 dead- bargain!