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CannibalKid
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:43 pm
Posts: 157
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:13 am 
 

I have recently developed an interest in spirituality, checked out a few of the obvious books (The Bible, The Quran, The Bhagavad Gita) and I was wondering what everyone's recommendations would be for books for someone whose looking for God, pursuing the divine. Any good books out there on how to find, pursue or perceive the divine? Just wondering about what's out there.

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caspian
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:24 am 
 

Two things here man:

1) Just read the bible and forget the rest.
2) C'mon man, you're on a metal forum. You wouldn't go and ask for metal recommendations on a religious forum, would you? Think about your posts before you do them, it's not too late to delete this thread!
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henkkjelle
Veteran

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:54 pm
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Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:54 am 
 

caspian wrote:
Two things here man:

1) Just read the bible and forget the rest.
2) C'mon man, you're on a metal forum. You wouldn't go and ask for metal recommendations on a religious forum, would you? Think about your posts before you do them, it's not too late to delete this thread!


Spoken like a true christian.....? :oh shit:

I'm not going to start a god debate here, so I just want to say that if you are really interested in spirituality then have at it hoss, but try to approach the subject with a critical and inquisitive mindset.
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PhilosophicalFrog
The Hypercube

Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 7:08 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:57 am 
 

Caspian is one of them dang Protestant types!

If you're interested in theology, I have tons of suggestions, unless you're interested in feel good spirituality? If that's the case, I have a few. It depends.
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EpicSceptic
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:26 am
Posts: 419
Location: South Africa
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:19 am 
 

caspian wrote:
Two things here man:

1) Just read the bible and forget the rest.
2) C'mon man, you're on a metal forum. You wouldn't go and ask for metal recommendations on a religious forum, would you? Think about your posts before you do them, it's not too late to delete this thread!


1) That's the worst advice I've ever heard in my life... To each his own though, but what you said right here is the biggest problem with religion IMO.
2) This is fairly true, but you've just proven that you can even get a Christian's perspective on this forum of supposed heathens, I'm sure there are people on here from all religions and groups, and as we like to think of ourselves as informed individuals around here I'm sure you don't need to necessarily be part of any particular group/religion to give the guy some insights on them.

If you're interested in spirituality, read all the books you mentioned, and every other religious/spiritual text you can, form your own opinion on the matter. I'm not a spiritual person myself, but I found some of Aldous Huxley's work quite enlightening after being interested in Buddhism for a while. The Doors of Perception is an interesting read and it's not 10 000 pages long.

However, try to get in on the other end of the spectrum, read about where the concepts of god and spirituality come from. Neural science, quantum physics and psychology have given all sorts of insights into this realm. Especially the experiments behind dreaming and near death experiences are interesting, and also those of people who are put on some seriously hallucinogenic drugs such as DMT.

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FearTheNome
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 8:41 am
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:07 am 
 

Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan and Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins are really good places to start.

The first rec explains tools to help you avoid getting fooled by superstitious mumbo jumbo and find out what's really true; the second discusses wonder in the natural world.

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Against Such Things
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:16 pm
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Location: Southern Maryland
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:23 am 
 

Well, I would imagine that the sacred texts for the world's major religions would be a good starting point. I don't know where you'd look for pagan (I guess there's the Eddas for Asatru) or more philosophical spirituality.
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Subrick
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:33 am 
 

Just do what caspian says and then watch a whole shitload of reruns of Touched by an Angel.
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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:41 pm 
 

Against Such Things wrote:
Well, I would imagine that the sacred texts for the world's major religions would be a good starting point. I don't know where you'd look for pagan (I guess there's the Eddas for Asatru) or more philosophical spirituality.

I agree with this post. Studying many different religions and forms of spirituality would be a great way to "find yourself", whatever that's supposed to mean. Not being an idiot and gobbling up the first thing you read as the absolute truth is also recommended.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:52 pm 
 

caspian wrote:
Think about your posts before you do them, it's not too late to delete this thread!


Actually, I'm pretty sure it was too late to delete the thread the minute you posted a reply to it :P

OP, a good starting point is Abdul Alhazred's Necronomicon. It's best read out loud.
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:15 pm 
 

FearTheNome wrote:
Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan and Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins are really good places to start.

This. I'll add The God Delusion to that as well.

"Spirituality" is for the weak and gullible minds.
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you can debate the actual date that metal began, but a fairly agreed upon date is 1969. Metal is almost 25 years old
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Nahsil
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:57 pm 
 

Morrigan wrote:
FearTheNome wrote:
Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan and Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins are really good places to start.

This. I'll add The God Delusion to that as well.

"Spirituality" is for the weak and gullible minds.


A sense of wonder and maybe even the "oceanic" feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself that Freud talks about are not things for the weak and gullible.

I recommend something by Alan Watts, like The Book, or The Way of Zen, because Buddhism requires little if any "orthodox belief." "Spirituality" doesn't have to be anti-reality or anti-critical thinking. "Spirituality" is a loaded as fuck word though; failsafe and I have gotten into this before.
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Doomed Cowboy
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Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 8:21 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:20 pm 
 

Its hard to say where to start. You already seem to have hit the major religious texts, so I guess checking the religion section of libraries and such for non major texts and supplementary texts might be worth trying. I don't have any specific recommendations, though.
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:22 pm 
 

2 books I would recommend: "The varieties of Religious experience" by William James and "The Golden Bough" by James Frazer.

Between the two of them, even though they are quite old, they cover a LOT of ground about the history and nuance of spiritual practice across lots of different cultures and time periods.

Caspian's advice is bullshit. By all means read the bible, but do so after you thoroughly understand the context. That means reading up on the history of Judaism in the ancient world, the controversies over translation, Schism and heresy ancient and modern. An uncritical reading of that text in particular is a trap for the unwary as it can be made to justify just about any position you care to name.
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Nochielo
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:33 pm 
 

The request is a little vague, but in the meantime James Frazer's - The Golden Bough is a very interesting read for any and all interested in religion in general.
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:01 pm 
 

It's probably kind of a cliché thing to say, but you're not going to "find god" in a damn book.
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Xlxlx
May contain traces of nuts

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
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Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:20 pm 
 

Under_Starmere wrote:
It's probably kind of a cliché thing to say, but you're not going to "find god" in a damn book.

Of course, but isn't "finding god" a metaphor?
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Under_Starmere
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:29 pm 
 

:| Yes. Yes, it is.

I mean come on, if I thought he meant it literally, the answer would have been simple:

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Xlxlx
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Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:39 pm 
 

1) I know that you didn't mean that literally, Starmere. Some people do use the term literally though, so..... Yeah.

2) I had to look that thing up to make sure that it's real. Damn.
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captain_che
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:20 pm
Posts: 390
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:08 am 
 

Can't go wrong with St. Augustine, particularly Confessions and City of God. He's a brilliant philosopher, rhetorician, and theologian. Also Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, for some really hardcore, frightening stuff about Hell and Sin. I'll second James's Varieties of Religious Experience, too. Side-note, his brother Henry is easily top tier among American novelists/short story writers.

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caspian
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:44 am 
 

captain_che wrote:
Can't go wrong with St. Augustine, particularly Confessions and City of God. He's a brilliant philosopher, rhetorician, and theologian. Also Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, for some really hardcore, frightening stuff about Hell and Sin. I'll second James's Varieties of Religious Experience, too. Side-note, his brother Henry is easily top tier among American novelists/short story writers.


While I'd still say the bible is significantly better than Augustine, I still like these rec's. My first post in this thread was not hugely serious.

I've always felt Kierkegaard's Works of Love and Fear and Trembling to be absolutely stunning works of philosophy that have the advantage of being definitely christian, while still being fantastic works of philosophy that are very defensible and basically just being super logical, super rad things.

But honestly, the NT... It's amazing at how well it's aged. Or hasn't aged rather. Stunning book.
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captain_che
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:20 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:10 am 
 

caspian wrote:
captain_che wrote:
Can't go wrong with St. Augustine, particularly Confessions and City of God. He's a brilliant philosopher, rhetorician, and theologian. Also Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, for some really hardcore, frightening stuff about Hell and Sin. I'll second James's Varieties of Religious Experience, too. Side-note, his brother Henry is easily top tier among American novelists/short story writers.


While I'd still say the bible is significantly better than Augustine, I still like these rec's. My first post in this thread was not hugely serious.

I've always felt Kierkegaard's Works of Love and Fear and Trembling to be absolutely stunning works of philosophy that have the advantage of being definitely christian, while still being fantastic works of philosophy that are very defensible and basically just being super logical, super rad things.

But honestly, the NT... It's amazing at how well it's aged. Or hasn't aged rather. Stunning book.


The Bible is source material, and should be treated as such, I think. People who rely solely on the Good Book tend in my experience to be rather poor Christians. I think it's best to turn to religion's great thinkers for info on the finer points of any faith. Even average thinkers, actually; that's why priests give sermons.

And I agree totally with your thoughts on Kierkegaard. His stuff is deeply profound. Further, it's real-world application is tough to beat. His discussion about the aesthetic vs. the ethical, especially.

I'd also recommend some art dedicated to the subject. In particular, Dostoevsky's The Brother's Karamazov and Donne's poetry, particularly [iThe ]Holy Sonnets[/i]. These two are not only ripping-good reads but devote significant time to the difficulties involved in faith and religion, from doctrinal issues to terrible doubt and suffering.

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caspian
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:15 am 
 

Can we agree on Crime & Punishment instead of Karamarov? Far more readable :) Never even heard of Donne's poetry, btw.. Will give that a look, for sure. Cheers! :beer:
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captain_che
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:20 pm
Posts: 390
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:26 am 
 

caspian wrote:
Can we agree on Crime & Punishment instead of Karamarov? Far more readable :) Never even heard of Donne's poetry, btw.. Will give that a look, for sure. Cheers! :beer:


Dude we can agree on anything Dostoevsky. The man is a towering genius. I'd wager The Idiot is probably easier than C & P, too :)
I say Brothers K because it's about faith in its entirety (or close to it, anyway), while C & P is much more about the effect guilt and remorse on the psyche, and striving toward redemption. Brothers K develops that stuff thoroughly and with greater eloquence, plus so much more.

Donne is really, really good. A lot of poets handle religion well, actually. Blake and Rilke are my other two favorites.

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693
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:11 am 
 

Hávamál is a good read. And pretty different than a lot of the most known religious texts.

It is a Poem with advice as to how to live life.

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FearTheNome
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 8:41 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:05 pm 
 

Nahsil wrote:
A sense of wonder and maybe even the "oceanic" feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself that Freud talks about are not things for the weak and gullible.



Of course it's not! Wonder is a human feeling, not a religious one. Both my recs and Morrigan's explicitly discuss finding wonder and transcendent feelings in the real world (and why you don't need to posit some kind of non-physical reality to have those experiences.)

I think these things are worth thinking about, even for religious people.

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Hircine
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:13 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:38 pm 
 

Move to India and take up Hinduism. That shit's intense.
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Littlewolf
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 4:18 am
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:55 pm 
 

seeking an advice on god and spirituality on this forum might be like seeking an advice on gardening from an Eskimo...and, to be honest, smells like trolling a bit...

judging from discussions on god and spirituality we had here, it seems to me that the majority of board members are either agnostics or atheist, some are even outright antitheists - therefore I'd say you'll get answers that might not satisfy you.

the greatest sense of spirituality, awe and wonder I can get is when I take a look at The Majesty of the Night Sky and contemplate the vastness of time and space and our place wihin it...
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Doomed Cowboy
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:24 pm 
 

It might also be worth looking into writings from members of the Process Church of the Final Judgement. (Process Church for short.)

Interesting ideology if nothing else, and there is the fact that members from the church visited Manson in prison. Worshiping both God and Satan seems like a very ying-yang type deal, but there is some biblical influence to their beliefs.

Also, as others have said, be careful with any interpretation of any religious ideology. It can get convoluted and twisted pretty easily.
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Big_Grand
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:59 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:03 am 
 

There's 4chan's /x/ board, though they are more spiritual in terms of Hinduism/ Buddhism and occult. They could definitely recommend books and whatnot. You could also walk into a church on a week night and look around their library. Around here a lot of them are usually unlocked, just don't look shady when you go in.

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Expedience
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:11 am 
 

William James' Varieties of Religious Experience is a good starting point, it covers a lot of the religions and includes a lot of source material you can seek out if you're interested.

I don't like Carl Sagan much. He's a good science educator but never steps outside the scientific paradigm to examine science and faith on their own merits, which means his belief in reason and logic as sources of truth is not much different from the religious faith he condemns. Every book of his I've read has said the same thing a hundred different ways.

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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:14 am 
 

Nahsil wrote:
A sense of wonder

You don't need "spirituality" to experience this. At all.

Quote:
and maybe even the "oceanic" feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself that Freud talks about are not things for the weak and gullible.

Actually, they kinda are, at least in the way spirituality entails it.

Quote:
"Spirituality" doesn't have to be anti-reality or anti-critical thinking. "

By definition, it does. Sorry.

Expedience wrote:
I don't like Carl Sagan much. He's a good science educator but never steps outside the scientific paradigm to examine science and faith on their own merits, which means his belief in reason and logic as sources of truth is not much different from the religious faith he condemns. Every book of his I've read has said the same thing a hundred different ways.

That's because faith has no merit whatsoever as a source of truth. Science and logic prove themselves time and time again, whereas faith goes nowhere. Also, the whole "faith in science is the same as religion lol" meme is beyond stupid, the worse kind of false equivalence.
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Markeri, in 2013 wrote:
you can debate the actual date that metal began, but a fairly agreed upon date is 1969. Metal is almost 25 years old
Extreme_violence wrote:
Why Iron maiden is there? It's very far to be metal than a lot of some metal band.

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Expedience
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:34 am 
 

Morrigan wrote:
Expedience wrote:
I don't like Carl Sagan much. He's a good science educator but never steps outside the scientific paradigm to examine science and faith on their own merits, which means his belief in reason and logic as sources of truth is not much different from the religious faith he condemns. Every book of his I've read has said the same thing a hundred different ways.


That's because faith has no merit whatsoever as a source of truth. Science and logic prove themselves time and time again, whereas faith goes nowhere. Also, the whole "faith in science is the same as religion lol" meme is beyond stupid, the worse kind of false equivalence.


No one said they are equivalent. They are the same in the sense that they have their own criteria for establishing truth. That's indisputable.

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caspian
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:48 am 
 

Yeah, trying to prove faith from a materialist standpoint makes about as much sense as trying to prove materials by believing in them really hard.. or something. Morrigan needs to read Kierkegaard. Most people do, though, so I won't hold it against her!
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:11 am 
 

Expedience wrote:
No one said they are equivalent. They are the same in the sense that they have their own criteria for establishing truth. That's indisputable.

And only one of those criteria is valid. That's also indisputable. ;)
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Markeri, in 2013 wrote:
you can debate the actual date that metal began, but a fairly agreed upon date is 1969. Metal is almost 25 years old
Extreme_violence wrote:
Why Iron maiden is there? It's very far to be metal than a lot of some metal band.

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Expedience
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:11 am 
 

Yes, valid provided we accept the metaphysical premises underlying them. Which is like saying Christianity is valid because truth is divine revelation, and the Bible's existence confirms the truth of God.

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Back Stabbath
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:03 am 
 

If the question is serious, I'd say start with the proto-comparitive mythology type books like the Secret Doctrine (Blavatsky) for a basis of the idea of cross cultural reference and (this isn't meant to be or sound racist but) remember that before near Middle Eastern religion assimilated and/or replaced European mythology that Santa Claus was originally Woden and Hel is a Goddess and not a place.

Then study and make sure you make up your own mind about as much as you can, believe what you want, and for fucks sake remember the word "allegory".

PS: Santa sucks and no, I don't like Varg.
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MetalCuresHeadaches
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:29 am 
 

Littlewolf wrote:
...and, to be honest, smells like trolling a bit...


Somebody stole my observation. Who asks a board of metal fans about religion?
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mindshadow
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:33 am 
 

If you want to experience the divine, wouldn't you have more chance sitting quietly in/near a place of worship, than concentrating whilst reading a book?

Reading many books by different authors wouldn't you be in danger of "mistaking the finger pointing at the moon for the moon"?
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:30 pm 
 

Expedience wrote:
Yes, valid provided we accept the metaphysical premises underlying them. Which is like saying Christianity is valid because truth is divine revelation, and the Bible's existence confirms the truth of God.

Not even close. Science and logic are the only paradigms that have proven themselves time and time again and that have contributed something worthwhile to human knowledge. Science is also the only methodology that is self-correcting in face of new emerging evidence.
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Markeri, in 2013 wrote:
you can debate the actual date that metal began, but a fairly agreed upon date is 1969. Metal is almost 25 years old
Extreme_violence wrote:
Why Iron maiden is there? It's very far to be metal than a lot of some metal band.

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