I meant to respond to your comment yesterday, but it got late and I had to get some sleep. Though my thoughts on this are very different than yours and Juneau's, I really appreciate both of your attempts to explain your views to me.
I think "original sin" poses a logical problem to society. When you instill the idea of collective guilt for "sin" committed by people thousands of years ago, it collides with our natural sense of justice which we seek in real world situations...if my great great grandfather murdered your great great grandfather, would you expect a court of law to hold me accountable for it? If not, why not? If you believe in original sin, and that "the infection" travels from one generation to the next and I'm a direct descendant of such a great sinner who murdered your beloved relative, would you not logically demand justice -- punishment of me, the last remaining person in the murderer's bloodline? Another example related to "sin" and what I consider illogical Christian belief: If someone brutally raped and murdered your daughter and was brought to trial and was sentenced to death, what if some completely innocent person stood up in the court and said "I shall take this person's sins upon myself and die in his stead in order to redeem him." Would that be acceptable to you...would such a selfless act serve justice in any way?
If your answer to either of these questions is "no," you must admit that there's a strange and illogical dichotomy of thought going on here. We were born with intelligence and the ability to reason things out. Most people including Christians agree that it's important to use our God-given intelligence to search for truth, especially when it comes to issues like justice. But for some reason, when it comes to the bible, most believers refuse to do this and take everything on "faith."
Something I find very interesting is that most Christians I know have an abhorrance for the catholic church, the pope and the vatican...they even claim that catholics aren't true Christians. Yet, the Catholic church wrote the New Testament. The truth of the bible was originally attested to by the catholic church and proclaimed to be God-inspired. Now I'm sure I don't need to tell you that anyone or any group of people can write scripture and proclaim it to be God-inspired truth...in fact, many people and groups of people have done so (the Mormons, Muslims, Hindus, Bhudists, etc.) and each of these other holy scriptures have large followings of devout believers who are just as faithful and fervent in their beliefs as Christians are in theirs. Can it be absolutely proved which is true? Who is to be judge?
It was Juneau who said there are mysteries that we as humans will never know, and I agree with her (or him?). These mysteries are so abstract, I'm surprised anyone could think they absolutely know the truth regarding any of them (what is the universe, where did it come from, how was it made, why am I here, where was I before I was born, what happens to me when I die). But we all can't help wondering about it all. People have wondered about these things since ancient times and like with any un-met demand in a market, some people rose up to fulfill that demand (various churches with their various scriptures -- most of them required lots of money to build and upkeep churches, clergy, temples, etc. -- which in a way makes them suspect to me). Others sought truth independently through various methods including deep meditation.
I don't think the people who've attained a high level of consciousness through meditation, and who came back with the understanding that our sense of separateness is an illusion were seeking to be God or God-like. They were seeking truth, and others who sought truth by the same method came away with pretty much the same understanding. some of them lived thousands of years ago and others are still alive today. Science has born out this understanding through quantum physics and quantum mechanics...there is no such thing as solid matter and no such thing as separability. Cutting edge quantum mechanics demonstrates that everything in the universe is interconnected and everything is energy -- energy that seems to be consciousness. The existence of anything seems to rely on being observed, and observation by each individual observer seems to have an affect on everything observed. It's mind blowing and hard to understand, but scientifically proven out, none the less.
Calling it satanic reminds me of how brilliant thinkers were burned at the stake in the old days for sharing their scientific discoveries when those discoveries came into conflict with church doctrine. Notice that church doctrine has often changed over time in order to not conflict with known scientific fact, or changes in social values...not the other way around.
This comment is already way too long. Such an interesting topic. Thanks for the discussion :-)
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