There were of course enough guys who took it as an opportunity to articulate the "superiority" of their convictions/faith/theology, while some others took to becoming "myth busters". It is therefore no wonder at all that there have been so much strife in this world, all because of one factor - the afterworld!!!
"Mind-bending" aside, what transpired in the discussions, was to me, a fascinating insight into some "religious minds" around us - not that I haven't encountered them in some congregations around town before, though. Mind you - these guys aren't "Muslims" (who are often the subject of ridicule by many a non-muslim) though, who object/contest the writings of RPK, but holier-than-thou, (horrors!!!) truly born again, judgemental, "Christians" who hurl fire & brimstone towards the fellow men, while putting themselves on a pedestal!!
To give you a glimpse into the fascinating minds of these guys mentioned above by RPK, here are some (extracts only, though - Catholics, you can read them in full at the above links) comments, with my response to them.
**The first comment below, from the former post by RPK, is to articulate my take on "organized religion" and its relation to politics, statecraft & humanity at large.
##(Grab your Coke & popcorn, guys!)
written by cruzeiro, April 30, 2009 13:38:59
Kings of old saw the need for religion in giving man "HOPE" and "laws from a higher authority" for the sake of legitimacy in the eyes of the people. That is why we have had Divine/God-kings (or the so-called "berdaulat" in Malay), complete with tales of “miracles” to hoodwink the ignorant masses and instill fear in them. The "ruling class" who become the symbols of "godliness" however, more often than not, scorn the concept of religion and "God"- which to them are simply instruments of statecraft, used to manipulate the masses into submission or fire them up into a frenzy for political reasons. It is because of this that we often see them leading opulent & decadent lives – away from the glare of public eyes – while the masses toil away.
Fairy tales or not, all civilizations of old had religious foundations or orders/laws, upon which their society was built; and that determined their progress - using science & technology. They however only survived as long as the dominant philosophy/religion/school of thought in the state, remained relevant according to the times - and whole civilizations collapsed when they became dogmatic and/or backward looking, and advocated stagnation or refrained from evolving.
The same fate awaits all known religions of today, should they tread the same road taken by failed ideologies of past kingdoms. Despite all these, one has to admit there are forces beyond our comprehension that work in mysterious ways. Science & technology can only reveal small amounts over time - and the states which embrace ideologies which advocate its progress the most (through education), will eventually win the battle of ideas. This is a fact in history no matter how true one may believe his faith is.
Most people think that you can "find" God/peace/truth/humanity/love (call it what you like) through prescribed religion/ rituals, when the truth is you achieve that through spirituality, faith and wisdom. These are people who do things for rewards in the afterlife (whatever that means) & treat "God" as a businessman who trades for praises/worship/dressing.
"God" & religion is as simple as that to them.
No amount of holier/truer-than-thou scripture reading, praying, laws/rules, finger-pointing or politics of "religion" is going to help those who believe in the former - in fact without the latter, it becomes the prescription for trouble (as was seen throughout history).
The following are from the comments section in the latter article:
written by MasterYoda, April 30, 2009 21:01:53
you asked if i saved? I say YES! I know within me, that if i died tonight, i would be in heaven with Yeshua. its an assurance from the Word of God and deep knowing within my spirit. (its like you know and you know and you know with a shadow of doubt)...
written by cruzeiro, April 30, 2009 22:28:23
Master Yoda has booked a suite in heaven!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
All you poor souls who don't look at things as MasterYoda - you are damned to the everlasting flames of hell!!
MasterYoda shall meanwhile be battling evil spirits and demons (ala "Angel") till the final judgement - but then again, he may get upgraded to the limited edition express ticket on "Starfleet Rapture"!
The rest of us - we have roast pork in hell .......
Don't think people envy you having your express ticket ....
written by chanatak, April 30, 2009 22:42:21
Pleased to let you know that like MasterYoda, I have also been given a berth in heaven.
written by cruzeiro, May 01, 2009 00:13:35
Dang! Chanatak - now there are two less of the limited seats on Starfleet Rapture!
Here I was hoping that I can somehow wangle myself into an extra low cost seat!
Anyways - good for you that you have a suite booked, and it's great that your theology provides the same as that of many others who book their seats through various other methods.
(Actually, even the Taliban and Hamas can suggest a few novel methods to "book seats", too).
Don't mean to say that you did it, but just don't go around with a chip on your shoulder with a holier-than-thou attitude.
Me ... I donno - I'll let the big man decide if I'm good enough. But no way in hell or heaven am I gonna try to bribe him with prayers and worship for a suite in his abode for an eternal party.
You see - there's a big difference between your perception of God and mine, and that makes all the difference. Cross or no cross, foolishness or not, I don't think he's a trader or businessman who decides based on what we believe .... if there is a God, I don't think he's so small as to base his judgements as per human perceptions/understanding/frailties - and I wouldn't presume to know the mind of God. If he's there, I believe that he's definitely gotta be bigger and better than all the earthly religions put together - after all few of them deny having a monopoly of truth.
Anyways - since you have so much faith in your destiny, good for you mate - and nobody can tell you that you're wrong!