Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Media Take: The Easter Show

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  • Ianmac,

    Having watched Bishop Tamaki in the past when in full flow to his flock, I was disappointed when on Media Take he seemed incoherent. You would think that he should have been articulate about his own version of religion.
    (Mind you I remember completely freezing on the subject of Intellectual Handicap for an interview on National Radio years ago. So I can't claim too high.)
    In Vietnam on the Mekong Delta we visited a church made up of 4 or five diverse religions. Imagine such a church of Protestant, Catholic, Islam, Buddhist or Hindu. Much harder to fight each other?

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ianmac,

    In Vietnam on the Mekong Delta we visited a church made up of 4 or five diverse religions.

    Sounds like the very colourful Cao Đài, which has a spot for Victor Hugo in its pantheon.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Clay Nelson,

    I really enjoyed being part of the programme. Thanks for inviting me. I only wish I could have taken Brian on in more depth. I've been challenging him in the media for a long time. This was the first time in 2007 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10424908

    Auckland • Since Apr 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Like many atheists, I am actually quite interested in religion

    Snap. These collections of people have over the millennium tried to soften relations between each other with varying degrees of success and failure. Holding the virtues like compassion, caring and helping those less fortunate than oneself out (in various ways) as some kind of aspirational /inspirational goal. But societies have just become more money oriented anyway.
    And if they need a placebo like a god figure well as long as they dont shove it down others throats, OK. But it is a placebo and has the same effect as a sugar pill, as long as the person thinks its real, it works. But it is self defeating behaviour.
    Cant we have caring societies without all this nonsense!

    And if I had to choose I'd pick the Hopi or indigenous Australians belief systems.
    And some mind altering behaviour(with time off work) of course.

    None of us are going to defeat death, and I'm pretty sure Jesus didnt either

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    it's an interesting thing the atheistic attraction to theology. as a lifelong card carrier I've done comparative theology and such like with endless fascination.
    but I'd quibble with andin's kiss off, there is not even the teeniest tiniest jot of evidence (in a time not exactly short of written records) aside from the self-serving, chosen for purpose, books of the bible, that jesus ever existed. I'm swayed by the argument that he was a propogandist's construct.
    but, you know, whatever, I'd still rather enjoy kicking back and chatting some with Brian. is he genuine though?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The number of people affiliating with Hinduism increased 39.6 percent since 2006 […while the…] number of people affiliating with the Muslim religion increased 27.9 percent

    Proportionally, there have been even larger increases in the Hindi-speaking and Arabic-speaking populations of NZ over that time, which points to immigration being the main driver for these trends; the “born in NZ” subsets are probably second-generation members of those immigrant communities, rather than adult conversions. Could tease that out by cross-classifying by age, I suppose.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1923 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    , that jesus ever existed.

    Just being generous. Words is words is words. No one will ever know for sure :-) I'm A doubting Tomasino as well

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott, in reply to andin,

    totally, just find it interesting how his life is so often taken as fact regardless of any evidence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Alan Perrott,

    I’d still rather enjoy kicking back and chatting some with Brian. is he genuine though?

    He's not the messiah, he's just a naughty boy.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews, in reply to Alan Perrott,

    there is not even the teeniest tiniest jot of evidence (in a time not exactly short of written records) aside from the self-serving, chosen for purpose, books of the bible, that jesus ever existed.

    No, the majority of historians would say that he did.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    naughty or calculating? and which is naughtier? I really would like to know, but given the rewards of his chosen career I can't help but swing a cod at his piety.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I tend to the view that towards the end of the Roman Empire, pantheism was seen by the ruling classes as increasingly decadent, and failed to provide the social control advantages of a monotheist religion (if, as a Roman, you didn't like what you were told at the temple of Apollo, you could wander over to Jupiter's place for an alternative).

    They saw Judaism as offering the disciplinary advantages they wanted - rigid rules, a (then) monolithic priesthood, a clear concept of eternal reward for earthly behaviour. They couldn't, however, fully accept the religion of a rather disdained subject people*, so they used it as a basis for an alternative - Judaism 2.0, later known as Christianity.

    * Not to mention they wanted to carry on eating bacon.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    same argument has been used for Ahkenaten's attempt to make Egypt monotheistic. I wouldn't disagree with what you say, but jesus was already a construct by that point. anyway, gorra put kids to bed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    The Life of Brian

    He’s not the messiah, he’s just a naughty boy.

    I'm guessing the title of Bishop Tamaki's biography is a given...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to andin,

    Attachment Attachment

    None of us are going to defeat death,
    and I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t either

    (h/t to www.whatreallyhappened.com for top image)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The Life of Brian

    I wonder when was the last time anyone watched the DVD of his investiture - if that's the word - as a bishop. It was a pricey item back in the day, leading to speculation as to whether it included bonus bloopers.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Alan Perrott,

    it’s an interesting thing the atheistic attraction to theology.

    So is the attraction of butterfly collecting, the key difference being that butterfly collectors of a particular persuasion have yet to massacre entire populations over matters pertaining to the subtlety of interpreting various Lepidoptera genera. And that is the key problem with theology - it is great intellectual fun and games until someone takes it seriously.

    Imagining the classical mind is so hard precisely because it was a pre-Christian one. That is why I am reasonably sure that Jesus Christ existed, and either he or his immediate apostles made a revolutionary intellectual breakthrough akin to the invention of farming, with or without the support of accompanying miracles according to taste. Certainly, something motivated his followers to prolytise a new message, a new way of seeing yourself that was so powerful that they were prepared to defy and eventually conquer the Roman Empire.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    prolytise

    vt., spread to the common people.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1923 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I think you need to parse that one a little carefully, because I'm assuming you're including those who tick the "object to state" box.

    Nope, 2013 census total New Zealand:

    No Religion: 1635345
    Christian: 1858977
    Object to State: 173034
    Total Stated: 3901167

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I also don’t think the state has any legitimate public interest in collecting data on people’s religious affiliations.

    I think so long as the state gives tax free benefits to Religions compared to other organisations, there is a legitimate reason for collecting the information, along with the Religion/Ethnicity nexus have a demographic effect on population models, education demand etc. for long term planning of infrastructure.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Russell Brown,

    . But do all those Maori call themselves atheists? Probably not. It’s all quite complicated.

    This is where you can get very different results from the census if you look at language fluency compared to descent. There is a whole complicated area around that.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to philipmatthews,

    No, the majority of historians would say that he did.

    Well, I'd be interested in which sources they'd cite. As far as I am aware, there is 1 mention of his followers in Josephus (a known fabulist) and that is it, apart from the religious writings which don't actually match the known history of the area and time..

    Believing he existed, because of your faith, and proving it are two entirely different things.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    Believing he existed, because of your faith, and proving it are two entirely different things.

    This is an argument that's been going on a long time, but it appears that most scholars believe he existed but attribute varying degrees of historicity to his story.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Well, I’d be interested in which sources they’d cite.

    The first ancient account we have of the life of Alexander the Great is Arrian, who wrote his Anabasis of Alexander in the first half of the second century – that is, some 450-500 years after Alexander’s life. All contemporary accounts are lost. There is plenty of sculpture and coins to affirm his existence, but nothing contemporary to tell us anything of the man. By contrast, we have (if the Bible is taken as a source document) accounts written within 100 years of Christ’s, ummmm, passing on – and the earliest contemporary depiction of Christ (from Dura-Europos) if from about 233-5AD, i.e within two centuries of Christ’s life.

    The point is much of what we “know” about the ancient world is what is inferred, reasoned, guessed and described from a remarkably slim set of primary source documents, supported by archaeology.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    One other thing – such was the power of the Christian revolution that common sense tells us there must have been something that set it apart from being just another Jewish sect at a time of great religious tumult in Palestine. To my satisfaction at least, the most obvious explanation is the first Christians had a leader in every way even more exceptional in his power to influence men than, say, Alexander the Great was in his own time.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

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