1. Standard memberMexico
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    05 Nov '08 13:12
    I was watching the excellent HBO Rome series recently and it struck me......

    What ever happened to all the Greek and Roman gods? I mean they had plenty of supporters and zealous followers. I know the Greek philosophers came to the conclusion that there were no gods but this wasn't popular... Was it a proactive quashing of the religions or did they all convert to the cross.....

    So people actively believed in these to the same, or perhaps greater extent as people no believe in their various gods. Were so many people simply wrong?
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    05 Nov '08 13:25
    Originally posted by Mexico
    I was watching the excellent HBO Rome series recently and it struck me......

    What ever happened to all the Greek and Roman gods? I mean they had plenty of supporters and zealous followers. I know the Greek philosophers came to the conclusion that there were no gods but this wasn't popular... Was it a proactive quashing of the religions or did they all conv ...[text shortened]... ps greater extent as people no believe in their various gods. Were so many people simply wrong?
    they were petty, cruel, had random behaviour and an odd moral system. one could get punished even if they did what was asked of them by the gods.

    basically they were like humans with too much power.
    bigger better religions came. or from the religious person's point of view, the truth overcome the darkness 😀
  3. Standard memberMexico
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    05 Nov '08 13:29
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    they were petty, cruel, had random behaviour and an odd moral system. one could get punished even if they did what was asked of them by the gods.

    basically they were like humans with too much power.
    bigger better religions came. or from the religious person's point of view, the truth overcome the darkness 😀
    True but the petty cruel gods with human attributes and failings, who basically used us as pawns in a big old game, far better explained the world around us than the one all seeing all knowing god who loves us but fails to intervene..... Because "he has a plan we cannot comprehend"
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    05 Nov '08 13:39
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    basically they were like humans with too much power.
    bigger better religions came. or from the religious person's point of view, the truth overcome the darkness 😀
    You are making the old mistake of evaluating success as 'better'.
    Other religions were more successful at getting new followers - that doesn't equate to them being better or even more factual.
    Even from a religious persons point of view every religion other than their own that took over from other religions cannot be described as the truth overcoming the darkness.
    Generally religions that are strong on evangelism whether by persuasion or by force are more successful than religions that are more relaxed in that area.
    Another major factor in a religions success is the existence of written documentation - especially when it is something that most members agree upon.
    Christianity got a big boost by getting into the political system.
  5. Standard memberMexico
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    05 Nov '08 13:45
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    You are making the old mistake of evaluating success as 'better'.
    Other religions were more successful at getting new followers - that doesn't equate to them being better or even more factual.
    Even from a religious persons point of view every religion other than their own that took over from other religions cannot be described as the truth overcoming th ...[text shortened]... most members agree upon.
    Christianity got a big boost by getting into the political system.
    This is actually the kind of answer I was aiming for, I was wondering what affects the rise and fall of religions.....

    The Roman Catholics did a great job of placing themselves in such a way geo-politically within the various European empires that I don't think they'll ever disappear.

    However many of the random sects of evangelistic protestants that spring up every where are likely to disappear as quickly as they appear.... Although them getting their boot into the American legal and governmental systems could well result in them having as much if not more longevity as the Roman-Catholics......
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    05 Nov '08 13:48
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    You are making the old mistake of evaluating success as 'better'.
    Other religions were more successful at getting new followers - that doesn't equate to them being better or even more factual.
    Even from a religious persons point of view every religion other than their own that took over from other religions cannot be described as the truth overcoming th ...[text shortened]... most members agree upon.
    Christianity got a big boost by getting into the political system.
    christianity appealed to the masses at first. the idea that everyone is equal in the eyes of god. and that if you do good, you are permitted a place in the nice afterlife. that is better religion.

    you can't say that the aztec human sacrificing to make the sun rise again is better. true, the conquistadors where forcing christianity on the natives, but if monks would have constantly shown up and peacefully preached a religion of compassion and fluffy things as opposed to a bloody, murderous one, what do you think they would have chose?
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    05 Nov '08 13:51
    i don't agree. all successful religions have their asses lodged in politically. the question was how did new religions arised. and that is answered by looking at what did they offered extra or instead of the old religion, who did they appeal to, etc.

    once established as predominant, of course they will meddle politically to retain power.
  8. Standard memberMexico
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    05 Nov '08 13:54
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    christianity appealed to the masses at first. the idea that everyone is equal in the eyes of god. and that if you do good, you are permitted a place in the nice afterlife. that is better religion.

    you can't say that the aztec human sacrificing to make the sun rise again is better. true, the conquistadors where forcing christianity on the natives, but if ...[text shortened]... d fluffy things as opposed to a bloody, murderous one, what do you think they would have chose?
    Actually the probably would have played stickball with their heads......

    It was actually considered a great and noble way to die to be killed for the gods..... You did well by your community, promising good harvests next year, you did well by your self, you got a place of honour in the after life...

    In the stickball thing they reckon it was the winners who got decapitated.... Would have made for an interesting league....
  9. Standard memberMexico
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    05 Nov '08 13:56
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    i don't agree. all successful religions have their asses lodged in politically. the question was how did new religions arised. and that is answered by looking at what did they offered extra or instead of the old religion, who did they appeal to, etc.

    once established as predominant, of course they will meddle politically to retain power.
    But the acceptance of a religion has an awful lot to do with state laws. If you make it illegal and punishable to not be X.... then most people will dutifully be X. This is how Christianity operated.... See Henry XIII, actually the whole of British royalty around then.... You were what every the king/queen said you were.....
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    05 Nov '08 14:031 edit
    Originally posted by Mexico
    But the acceptance of a religion has an awful lot to do with state laws. If you make it illegal and punishable to not be X.... then most people will dutifully be X. This is how Christianity operated.... See Henry XIII, actually the whole of British royalty around then.... You were what every the king/queen said you were.....
    ah but here you are wrong, very wrong. the roman emperors constantly turned christians into lion food and crucified them, and burned them alive etc. somehow those christians chose to stay christians even when the state laws forbid them.

    muslims in spain forced to get catholicized still practiced islam in secret. so those religions had something in them that caused the believers to choose them over the dominant religion.
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    05 Nov '08 14:03
    Originally posted by Mexico
    I was watching the excellent HBO Rome series recently and it struck me......

    What ever happened to all the Greek and Roman gods? I mean they had plenty of supporters and zealous followers. I know the Greek philosophers came to the conclusion that there were no gods but this wasn't popular... Was it a proactive quashing of the religions or did they all conv ...[text shortened]... ps greater extent as people no believe in their various gods. Were so many people simply wrong?
    Sometimes, when I like to imagine that gods exist, I think about what exactly happened in Rome. The political and military Empire was fused with a spiritual Empire. The One God then set about gradually destroying all of the other gods--smashing their temples, torturing their worshippers--spreading his reach across the world. The fall of the earthly empire of Rome was irrelevant--a more terrible and lasting spiritual Empire had been created. One which persists to this very day.

    But the old gods are still around. You can still see the sun, and feel the wind. Something mighty is behind that thunderstorm. You can talk to the trees and the streams and the mountains. Indeed, just like talking to the One God, if you listen, you can hear their reply. You can offer them prayers and they will answer in exactly the same way as the One God.
  12. Standard memberMexico
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    05 Nov '08 14:061 edit
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    ah but here you are wrong, very wrong. the roman emperors constantly turned christians into lion food and crucified them, and burned them alive etc. somehow those christians chose to stay christians even when the state laws forbid them.

    muslims in spain forced to get catholicized still practiced islam in secret. so those religions had something in them that caused the believers to choose them over the dominant religion.
    Again all true, but once accepted by the dying roman empire the religion spread like a bushfire all across europe and wangled its way into all future governing systems..... hence the dark ages......
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    05 Nov '08 14:14
    Originally posted by Mexico
    Again all true, but once accepted by the dying roman empire the religion spread like a bushfire all across europe and wangled its way into all future governing systems..... hence the dark ages......
    the dark ages are not because of christianity. there are a number of reasons, most important the hordes of barbarians coming from the east with nobody to stand in their way because the roman empire crumbled under corruption, weak emperors and too large borders.

    in those days, having a strict and oppressive religion was more important than free will. their society depended on oppressed scared peasants confident that the meek shall inherit the world. any heresy was dangerous to society.
  14. Standard memberMexico
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    05 Nov '08 14:27
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    the dark ages are not because of christianity. there are a number of reasons, most important the hordes of barbarians coming from the east with nobody to stand in their way because the roman empire crumbled under corruption, weak emperors and too large borders.

    in those days, having a strict and oppressive religion was more important than free will. the ...[text shortened]... d peasants confident that the meek shall inherit the world. any heresy was dangerous to society.
    Again I'm not disagreeing with you as such..... I was more referring to the consequences of the Dark ages as opposed to the time period. Christianity played a huge role in the suppression of free thought and development. Whe states supporting it meant it was forcibly spread which is what resulted in them being so powerful today. Although it is waning somewhat....
  15. Standard memberPalynka
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    05 Nov '08 15:001 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Christianity got a big boost by getting into the political system.
    So did Taoism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, etc... What else is new? That's how religions expanded.
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