Dumai

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Dumai wrote

Gee, sorry. How are you opposing the occupation of native land by Europeans?

By not supporting it? lol

i love how he thinks this is a question of whether or not he likes colonialism rather than a question of what he's actually doing about it

You gonna help us get our land back?

When the revolution starts...

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Dumai wrote (edited )

if (and this a big if) there was any dharmic inspiration in the early church then it was certainly through hellinistic influences, so koenraad elst is right to underline the significance of "ambient hellenistic-cosmopolitan culture". aside from that, this article is not very well researched. he's correct in saying that there is no doctrine of original sin in judaism, but definitely wrong to insinuate that it has no concept of spiritual salvation; that is to say, that jews only believe in "political salvation" (i don't know if the words "the world to come" mean anything koenraad, but they certainly did to many second temple jews). his statement that there could be no connection between jewish and christian ideas about salvation is patently absurd, as anyone up-to-date on their pauline scholarship would know. he botches the relationship between christianity and mithraism (mithraism borrowed from christianity, not the other way around -- most historical evidence we have on mithraic doctrine post-date the new testament) and seems to be labouring under the bizarre assumption that a first-century jewish day labourer from galilee would have a deep enough understanding of hindu philosophy to incorporate into his ministry. if hinduism had any direct influence on jesus or the gospel scholars, there should be some extraordinary evidence for significant contact between jewish and hindu communities in roman judea, but as elst points out, there's absolutely nothing to suggest a significant hindu community even existed there outside of his weird interpretation of the new testatement.

koenraad elst is an infamous right-wing hack btw

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Dumai wrote (edited )

first century palestinian jews would not have known too much about buddhism, nor would they have been very amenable to what they did know. there's a chance some small buddhist influence survived in christianity's hellenistic roots, but not much research has been done on this thesis and i'm not aware of any direct textual evidence for it, so i'd be hesitant to jump to conclusions too quickly. for the most part, right now it's conjecture. the similarities are not so major that they indicate appropriation, nor is the evidence strong enough (a few buddhist gravestones in alexandria does not prove buddhism had any impact on the christian community there).

ancient christians, jewish and gentile, would have disapproved strongly of what they saw as pagan religions, so you're going to need to do more than point to other trinitarian traditions to prove that they influenced the holy trinity. the hellinistic jewish concept of logos, alongside neoplatonist thought, have stronger evidence for direct influence (as in, we actually have ancient christian texts that refer to them directly and positively, and many others that indicate some borrowing took place). so again, the non-jewish influence on early christianity seems to mostly be hellenistic.

and just to be clear, i'm not saying christians have nothing to learn from buddhism. i actually think we have a lot to learn! i i just don't think there's much evidence buddhism had any significant influence on the early church.

How has Eastern Orthodox Christianity changed in the past few hundred years? There hasn't been any kind of reformism that I can perceive. It prides itself on maintaining that sameness.

you don't really need to outline any conscious act of reformism to show that a religion might change in the space of hundreds of years. it's impossible to preserve anything in total cultural stasis, let alone a massively diverse denomination of 250 million people in a number of different cultures. if you want one example, then take russian orthodoxy; the russian church was more politically independent as a patriarchate than it was under the holy synod, which obviously affected its doctrine regarding state, along with its identity as a community in relation to the state. those two things would undergo a profound change again after 1917, and again when stalin relaxed state atheism practices during WWII, and again under khrushchev... it goes on. historical circumstances matter a lot in religion.

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Dumai wrote (edited )

You should.

in that case what we arrive at is a plurality of post-secular, post-modern traditions... which includes, imo, how i practice quakerism in my life

It's not like the Christ's teachings were so special, they were just an appropriation, or at best an adaptation of much older religions from further East.

christianity's early influences were actually mostly jewish (obviously) and greek.

Fighting against it by trying to reform it; which I don't believe can work.

i think christianity, properly understood, is radical. please don't dismiss marginalised groups fighting against the material circumstances of their oppression just because they're doing it in a way you wouldn't. and be careful drawing too much of a comparison between religious "reformism" and liberal political reformism. george fox was technically a religious reformer, and what he helped build was a non-hierarchically organised church. he told oliver cromwell to "lay down his crown at the feet of jesus". to his face.

And I was raised Christian Orthodox, so the Christianity I'm most familiar with is the purest form there is, it's been unchanged for centuries.

that is... not actually true, literally no religion exists in stasis

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Dumai wrote

"Oh those aren't REAL christians." Yes they are. They're the vast, vast majority of christians.

which christians get closer to enacting christian love on a daily basis?

It just whitewashes all the real harm being perpetrated by Christianity everyday.

given quakers spend a lot of time elaborating what sets us apart from other christians, i don't think this is true. and i definitely wouldn't say it's true of liberation or post-colonial theology considering, you know, that's the precisely the kind of christianity they're fighting against

if christianity gets to be boiled down to "straight cisgender capitalist warmongering patriarchy" then what does that say for secularism and the secular state? i could just as easily accuse secular anarchists of "reforming" a liberal state ideology that was very close to heart of the development of the capitalist mode of production.

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Dumai wrote (edited )

not saying horrible things haven't been done in His name (quakers traditionally refer to that sort of thing as apostate christianity)

but that doesn't negate the value of His message imo, nor the important work many have done with His inspiration

i mean if you think christianity can essentially be boiled down to european colonial ambitions, tell that to the catholic liberation theologians who helped galvanise anti-imperialist movements in latin america

or black liberation/post-colonial theologians for that matter

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Dumai wrote (edited )

... no i did not learn the names of thousands of cubans in my secondary education

i nevertheless knew the fidel castro regime was marked by political executions, extrajudicial killings, and forced labour camps (that targeted, among others, gay people)

if you didn’t know that, that’s okay! but you could have fucking googled it rather than speaking down to somebody who knew better

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Dumai wrote

if you really want to know who castro killed you are perfectly capable of using google to bring yourself up to speed with basic history

please don’t patronise people b/c they don’t feel like talking you through very simple high school level knowledge

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Dumai wrote

i don’t see how any of this affects the basic argument that something isn’t necessarily neutral if it is neither wholly good nor wholly bad. even if you think technology in the abstract has some special transhistorical character, that doesn’t force it into any one of those boxes.

to the degree that ambivalence implies a lack of decidability when technology has very concrete, direct socio-political effects, i still don’t agree that “ambivalent” is a good word to use here. i appreciate that you’re abstracting away most of what tech is and does but anyway, given that you’ve already accused me of gaslighting i don’t want to stick around to find out what other rhetorical moves you have up your sleeve.

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Dumai wrote

sorry, i don’t know where the word “impartial” came from. it’s 2am, i’m running on less than 4 hours of sleep and i’ve just been accused of gaslighting by somebody who then turned around and said gaslighting “doesn’t have to be abusive” so it’s safe to say i’m not in the soundest of minds right now lol