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Re: [existlist] Re: The boy in the hole

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  • Murad Baig
    Zealots are passionate but seldom wise. Read this extract from a book I am writing. Murad ... Although these five were the main architects of religion,
    Message 1 of 25 , Feb 6, 2013
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      Zealots are passionate but seldom wise.

      Read this extract from a book I am writing.

      Murad

      ... Although these five were the main architects of
      religion, religions were also shaped and distorted by a huge number of
      passionate revisionists who ardently believed that God had personally given
      them a divine mission to reform or redirect their interpretations of their
      faiths. It is quite astonishing how a few, sometimes unbalanced, men were to
      completely alter their religions and sometimes even create completely new
      religions or major schisms within established religions. 
       
      One well documented fairly recent example is the
      strange case of Shabbatai Zavi a scholarly young Jew who may have been
      something of a manic depressive.  He
      lived in Smyrna (Turkey) in the late seventeenth century. He used to suffer
      fits of depression and would disappear for days until charged with fits of what
      he called illumination where, what he called, a `higher power’ would direct him
      to violate many of the very strict taboos of Judaism.  He was convinced that these `Holy Sins’ were
      to lead him to a new set of holy commandments in a reformed new Judaism. He was
      expelled from Smyrna in 1650, wandered for fifteen years and went to Gaza to
      meet a great healer called Nathan who had proclaimed …”Thus saith the lord
      Behold our savior commeth! Shabbatai Zavi is his name.” Nathan believed that
      `the messiah’ had been trapped in a godless world from the beginning and would
      now be freed. The news rapidly spread to many Jewish communities who began to
      violate many Jewish practices, food and sexual taboos, roll on nettles, immerse
      themselves in freezing water and follow other strange practices awaiting a
      `Great Awakening’.
       
      In 1666, confident of the lord’s protection, he
      went to see the Turkish sultan and was promptly arrested and given the choice
      of death or conversion to Islam. To the shock of his ardent followers he
      immediately converted but said he had to do this apostatic act in order to
      `descend further into the realm of impurity’ that he described as `a holy sin’.
      He however avidly studied the Muslim Sharia believing that he was also destined
      to be a bridge between Judaism and Islam and bring the Jews back to their holy
      land. Such trifling with deeply entrenched sacred laws caused him to be
      initially exiled but, bizarre as his beliefs and actions were, Shibbatai
      acquired many followers until he suddenly died in 1676. Two radical Shabbatean
      sects however followed and led to a mass conversion of Jews.       
       
      His extraordinary example was not very different to
      numerous other `divinely inspired’ men who were to cause every religion to
      split and proliferate into dozens of sects and cults. The power of divinely
      inspired passion and the gullibility of their followers were truly astonishing.
      In some cases these revisionists were to turn well established religions
      completely on its head. Paul was the most notable example and was to completely
      hijack the very well established religion of Judaism, add a few fragments from
      the words of a Jew called Issa (Jesus) and create a completely new religion
      that he was to call Christianity. In the early nineteenth century, an
      illiterate Arab Bedouin called Abd al Wahhab was to similarly completely hijack
      Islam and made it intolerant and militant.
       
      Religions were not however solid edifices like some
      great building. They were living traditions that grew and evolved like the
      constantly spreading branches of great trees. The founders, apostles, priests
      and patrons may have been their roots but religions were constantly evolving
      and were to throw up numerous branches as they rose above the ground. Religions
      could ignite passions among numerous leaders who were to make many new sects
      and sub sects multiply with amazing speed.
       
      The huge number of `heresies’ that Christianity
      spawned very soon after the crucifixion best illustrates this huge explosion of
      religious deviations. Some of these were:
       
      Sabellianism:  Taught by
      Sebellius (215 CE) in Rome, believed that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are
      three faces of a single person, God. 
       
      Docetism:  This sect founded
      by bishop Serapion of Antioch (197 – 203 CE) believed that Christ was not a real human being and did not
      have a real human body. 
       
      Monophysitism:  They believed that
      Jesus had two separate natures in one body.  Monophysitism is still alive
      in several Egyptian and Middle Eastern sects.
       
      Adoptionism: They believed that
      Jesus was a human being who was "adopted" by God at his conception
      and then developed a divine nature. 
       
      Nestorianism:  Nestorius, the
      Patriarch of Antioch (386 – 451CE) believed that Jesus had two natures of Man
      and God that remained separate throughout his life and denied the idea of
      virgin birth. 
       
      Apollinarianism:  They believe Jesus
      Christ was not a real man, but not totally divine either. 
       
      Arianism:  Arius (250 -  336 CE), a priest in Alexandria believed that
      Jesus Christ was a special creation by God for man's salvation. It became a
      very powerful schism.
       
      Socianism:  This was a version
      of Arianism that says that Jesus was an extraordinary man and not a divinity. 
       
      Donatism:  Named for its
      leader Donatus the Great (355 CE). They were a group of extremist sects who emphasized
      asceticism.
       
      Pelagianism:  Associated with
      the Irish monk Pelagius who believed that original sin was not transmitted from
      Adam and Eve to their children.
       
      Gnosticism:  They believed in the notion of a remote, supreme
      divinity, source of great depth and profundity and believed in emanations of
      further divine beings that were aspects of the God.
       
      Manicheanism:  This seems to have
      become a separate religion that blends Christianity with Gnosticism, Mithraism,
      neo-Platonism, and even many elements of Buddhism.  It gained many
      followers and survived well into the middle Ages, where it influenced the large
      communities of the Bogomils in the Balkans and the Cathars in southern France.
       
      Bogomils: They were adoptionist
      but did not consider Jesus to be a part of a trinity. They did not also they
      consider Mary the mother of God. They also believed that God had two sons,
      Michael and Satan and that  Satan had created the material world and
      attempted to create Adam, but was unable to create a soul. 
       
      Cathars:  They followed the basic
      ideas of this Bogomil heresy and tried to live very simple, exemplary lives, even
      refraining from physical pleasures and meat. They believed that the God of the
      Old Testament was actually Satan who was responsible for the creation of the
      material world.  These were
      however only the some of the hundreds of religious deviations that appeared in
      the early years of Christianity. They were to continue to multiply through the
      centuries and even into modern times.
       
      Today though Roman Catholics are the largest
      Christian community there are over five hundred different churches practicing
      Catholic heresies all over the world. These include over twenty eastern Catholics,
      forty Orthodox Christians and over two hundred schools of Protestant, Lutheran
      and Anglican belief. There are also reformed churches, Methodists,
      Antibaptists, Pentecost’s, Quakers, Adventists, Jehovah’s witnesses, and many
      others.
       
      All these sects had equally good claims to being
      the true path to the message of Christ. These sects and cults however had great
      difficulty in establishing themselves as they faced staunch opposition from
      equally ardent devotees of other sects. It was therefore the sect that
      succeeded in getting the strongest political support that were able to vanquish
      their rivals in a war with the swords of soldiers rather than with the flame of
      spiritual superiority.
       
      These are the deviations in one just religion.
      There are almost as many deviant versions of Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and all
      other faiths.


      ________________________________
      From: Mary <josephson45r@...>
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, February 7, 2013 1:09 AM
      Subject: [existlist] Re: The boy in the hole

      I already explained how zealots aren't capable of bad faith. Now you've turned to sadists as examples of authentic evil. A sadist is probably a good example of someone choosing authentically, because he may justify according to his freedom to choose what he wants. You don't get it. Bad faith is acting against your own sense of freedom to make a different choice, a choice not based on ideology. The zealot isn't free to deliberate with himself; he follows an ideology rather than questioning himself. Bad faith is knowing something about yourself and then acting against that knowledge. It's choosing to ignore and wanting to ignore something essential about yourself but then acting contrary to it. I vaguely recall that Beauvoir wrote about Sade using this argument. I don't understand how a sadist's existential authenticity is the same as a zealot's except perhaps their outcomes, but just because an outcome looks the same, doesn't mean their motives were.

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome  wrote:
      >
      > Interesting.
      >
      > Why is it "bad faith"??  If a sadist harms others, how can it be bad faith
      > since (1) he wants to harm you, and (2) he does harm you.  It would be
      > different if he doesn't want to harm you, but does so because he thinks it
      > is required of him and decides some self justification.
      >
      > eduard
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mary
      > Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 7:01 PM
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: The boy in the hole
      >
      > You're conflating, or once again trying to reduce to the simplistic, the
      > common meaning of the word authentic with existential authenticity. Zealots
      > are not existentially authentic; they're not capable of bad faith, because
      > they adhere to an ideology. To state that evil people are authentic is
      > meaningless in an existential context.
      >
      > Mary
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome  wrote:
      > >
      > > Religious zealots are very authentic.  They aren't borrowing from the
      > > public
      > > trough but are twisted all on their own.  Granted Moussa got his training
      > > in
      > > Saudi, but he was already twisted when he chose to go there for training
      > > in
      > > the first place.  It was only a matter of choosing the best place to get
      > > what he already agreed with.
      > >
      > > eduard
      > >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: Mary
      > > Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 4:41 PM
      > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: [existlist] Re: The boy in the hole
      > >
      > > The authenticity of existentialism is one of self-awareness and weighing
      > > personal ideas  and values against the grain to determine if they are
      > > genuinely held or simply absorbed from culture and traditions. Ideologues
      > > and religious zealots are not authentic, because they rarely question
      > > themselves this way. They refuse to interact with those who oppose them;
      > > they're intellectually incestuous, answering their doubts with deeper
      > > commitment to their ideology. This isn't what existentialism espouses.
      > >
      > > Mary
      > >
      > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome  wrote:
      > > >
      > > > I don't think that one can draw a fine line between people "doing what
      > > > they
      > > > can" and existentialism.  I take Existentialism as a sort of philosophy
      > > > for
      > > > the individual.  It doesn't have an impact on a more public plain.  Yes
      > > > one
      > > > should authentic to oneself, but what happens when you get a real
      > > > sadistic
      > > > nut-case who is authentic to himself by hurting others.  If you are
      > > > following the action in Mali, you will know of Mohammed Moussa who had
      > > > Timbuktu his hands for the past 10 months until the French drove him
      > > > out.
      > > > It was he who directed the Islamic police in applying a strict Sharia
      > > > law.
      > > > He ordered women to be completely covered and the men to grow beards.
      > > > He
      > > > was also responsible for having women raped, whipping, cutting off a
      > > > hand
      > > > or
      > > > foot or both of thieves.  You could get caught up with his "police" for
      > > > whatever even that supposed.  Moussa was being authentic.
      > > >
      > > > eduard
      > > >
      > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > From: Mary
      > > > Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 2:32 PM
      > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > > Subject: [existlist] Re: The boy in the hole
      > > >
      > > > Let me restate this. Any individual, whether employed in the private or
      > > > the
      > > > public sector, cannot be excused from doing what they can. The reason
      > > > existentialism is not just 'what everybody does anyway' is because it's
      > > > a
      > > > call for authenticity and doing what is worth your trouble. That there
      > > > are
      > > > no guarantees does impact our decisions but only if we don't chose. If
      > > > we
      > > > don't choose, someone else chooses for us. Freedom isn't even possible
      > > > if
      > > > no
      > > > one is authentically choosing. For example, if someone declares they're
      > > > just
      > > > doing their job or that money is their primary goal, you know where they
      > > > stand. Reacting to inauthentic people is like shadow boxing; taking a
      > > > position is the only way someone else is free to take theirs.
      > > >
      > > > Mary
      > > >
      > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Mary"  wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Oh eduard. Those "security people" are just doing what they can. Shit
      > > > > happens. Not. This is why existentialism is more about 'what you can
      > > > > do'
      > > > > and how the personal intersects with the public than hindsight about
      > > > > every
      > > > > path is the same. What you think directly relates to how you act. If
      > > > > liberty is important, then what the individual does, whether a private
      > > > > citizen or a government, is important, is worth the trouble, is life
      > > > > and
      > > > > death for many. What's equally threatening to liberty is doing
      > > > > nothing.
      > > > >
      > > > > Mary
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eduardathome  wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > You mean "Asperger's".
      > > > > >
      > > > > > The idea of chips  is disturbing.  The security people won't stop
      > > > > > until
      > > > > > they
      > > > > > have chips in everyone.  Big threat to liberty.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > eduard
      > > > > >
      > > > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > > > From: William
      > > > > > Sent: Monday, February 04, 2013 6:07 PM
      > > > > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > > Subject: [existlist] The boy in the hole
      > > > > >
      > > > > > We got the whole nut bag treatment with this  story. Gun violence,
      > > > > > veteran
      > > > > > acting out, child  abduction,  murder, kidnapping and suicide. It
      > > > > > appears
      > > > > > the FBI rescued the child who  had Augsburgers. This  story is one
      > > > > > of
      > > > > > modern
      > > > > > disfunctionality.  and would seem to defy any  conclusion or attempt
      > > > > > at
      > > > > > prevention.
      > > > > > Remember Dirty Harry when the nut job  invades the school bus? I
      > > > > > wonder
      > > > > > if
      > > > > > Dikes did?
      > > > > > It may be time to put up the drones and canvass the crazies all the
      > > > > > time.
      > > > > > Can the  computers do that? can the democracy stand it. We may be
      > > > > > able
      > > > > > to
      > > > > > detect a weapon and any perp with  no gun rights could be
      > > > > > intradicted
      > > > > > for
      > > > > > cause. The cops stop him and confiscate his weapon and take him to a
      > > > > > treatment holding facility. It would probably  require implanting a
      > > > > > chip
      > > > > > that identifies the suspect  as  a mental problem. Gun plus + chip =
      > > > > > take
      > > > > > down. I can see this shaping up and think it is big brother to the
      > > > > > maximum
      > > > > > extent. The crazies just keep pushing the envelope of evil and is
      > > > > > actually
      > > > > > domestic terrorism. The  methodes that work against  Islamic
      > > > > > terrorism
      > > > > > could  work for  this domestic scourge. I hate the thought of it
      > > > > > but
      > > > > > know
      > > > > > it will soon be  proposed. A nut job with a gun will be taken down
      > > > > > automatically and we probably already have the technology with the
      > > > > > drones.
      > > > > > Welcome to the brave new world. Bill
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
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