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Atheism and being Armenian

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  • #41
    Re: Atheism and being Armenian

    Originally posted by hipeter924 View Post
    The Armenian church preserved Armenian history and culture, but it didn't create most of it (individual Armenians did), there are many Armenian writers, artists and historians (that barely attended or weren't even involved with the Church) that preserved and recorded Armenian history and culture in Western Armenia and Europe, after the Genocide this was mostly lost (and destroyed by the Turks).
    The majority of Armenian history has been documented by the Armenian Church since the 5th century. Historically, the most educated people outside the royalty were the clergy.

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    • #42
      Re: Atheism and being Armenian

      Originally posted by Yeznik View Post
      The majority of Armenian history has been documented by the Armenian Church since the 5th century. Historically, the most educated people outside the royalty were the clergy.
      This was true everywhere not just in Armenia. Keeping education limited to the clergy was a form of control over knowledge which is key to making people believe fairytales while you take their money.
      Hayastan or Bust.

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      • #43
        Re: Atheism and being Armenian

        After reading most what you guys said let me say few things so maybe this time I can make myself clear. I am a believer in God that is why I consider myself a believer, secondly I believe that Jesus Christ was his son because we all are his children, and I believe Jesus was sent by God to show us the right path of life but not by forcing it on us, that is why I consider myself a Christian. First we should separate the church, the clergies and believers. What is church? Church is a place where believers meet, what is clergy? It started as the Jesusí apostles, now itís a mafia that controls the church. What is believers? They are the people that believe in God no matter if they are Muslims Buddhists or believe in supreme power but most are confused because there are no good raw models to guide them. So when I say I am a believer it doesnít mean I attend church to see how those charlatans (clergies) put an act for people, I go there to pray to God. I refuse to accept when they talk about religious people and church then they say it represent all believers, maybe for the time being the religious people can represent the church and speak for it but the church is Godís house, the day will come and we will take it back from these charlatan actors and politicians.
        Եւ մի տանիր զմեզ ի բորձութիւն
        Այլ փրկեա ի չարէ:

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        • #44
          Re: Atheism and being Armenian

          Originally posted by Yedtarts View Post
          Yet the soviet union itself has collapsed.

          So who forced the majority of Armenians to come back to God and not become atheists or something else. I’m talking about the majority of them.
          I know the church and the majority of religious people are corrupt but you cannot blame people to go to them looking for guidance.

          When I talk about clergy people, I’m not talking about just Christians, all clergy (the majority) are corrupt politicians and actors that can be bought with money or seduced by women.
          The soviet union was hardly a obsticle as i wrote earlier religion was openly practiced in Armenia for most of the soviet period. As for the clergy-if those who represent something are as you said "corrupt politicians and actors that can be bought with money or seduced by women " then that says something about what they represent to. If religion produces mostly corrupt clergy(says you) then what is the value of such a practice?
          Hayastan or Bust.

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          • #45
            Re: Atheism and being Armenian

            Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
            The soviet union was hardly a obsticle as i wrote earlier religion was openly practiced in Armenia for most of the soviet period. As for the clergy-if those who represent something are as you said "corrupt politicians and actors that can be bought with money or seduced by women " then that says something about what they represent to. If religion produces mostly corrupt clergy(says you) then what is the value of such a practice?
            Should I understand that there are no corrupt atheists or non believers?

            I don’t give a damn about the practice, I care about believing.
            Last edited by Yedtarts; 04-25-2011, 05:15 PM.
            Եւ մի տանիր զմեզ ի բորձութիւն
            Այլ փրկեա ի չարէ:

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            • #46
              Re: Atheism and being Armenian

              Originally posted by bell-the-cat View Post
              Most 4th-century Armenians had never even seen a Christian before Christianity was enforced upon them, so it was hardly a case of setting an example and allowing people to see that it was a better way of life. In many parts of Armenia Christanity was adopted and enforced using military force - sometimes involving full-scale battles. Non-christian shrines were atacked and destroyed, sacred statues were smashed, temple lands and temple contents confiscated and distributed to those supporting the Church, and the population was forbidden to practice non-Christian rites. Ironically, because Christianity was forced onto the ordinary peasant population, this resulted in many religious practices from pre-Christian Armenia being preserved within Armenian Christianity. The designs of early churches in Armenia show that most Armenians after Armenia became officially Christian were still not Christians - churches had porticos and external apses because it was recognised that, because a large part of the population was not Christian or had not been properly baptised, they could not enter inside churches.

              About the Erzinjan region:
              You left out the part where martyrs were seen to be met with force and put to death because they were teaching the peasants how to empower themselves which was seen as a threat to the current rulers. Kind of like the emancipation of women that the west uses against every culture in the middle east as an excuse for military force.
              "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

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              • #47
                Re: Atheism and being Armenian

                Yedrarts,

                You keep implying that you're being told that there are no immoral or corrupt atheists, even though I haven't seen anyone state this. I don't know why you keep falling back on this.

                I also find your separation of belief and practice somewhat odd. I don't think it would a misinterpretation of your position to lump "clergy/practice/ritual" into one category of things that is different from belief, and that things in that category can be corrupted, misused or false... however belief is something separate and pure from that. I'm pretty sure this is what you're saying. However, there is a problem with this, and I'll explain the problem through analogy.

                As a Philosophy major, I go about learning about various thinkers or ideologies in one of two ways: One way is through companion books, reference materials, professors lecturing, and commentaries. The other way is to just directly read what that philosopher wrote him or herself. In school, you often have to do both, but theoretically I could spend my life ONLY learning through reading what they themselves wrote and forming my own interpretation based on that alone, or I could go through life ONLY learning about them through commentaries of what other people have said/written about them. It seems to me what you're saying is that all the practice and clergy in religion could be viewed as 'the reference material/commentaries' and belief comes itself from the pure, unadulterated source which is separate from the former category.

                However, the problem is that no such pure source exists. You only have your belief or faith because of the church, clergy, rituals and practices. Even if you ignored all that and only stuck to the Bible, you would still have to be aware that it was a book written by men. Even if you felt it was divinely inspired by the word of God, most modern believers knowingly admit that the Bible was indeed written by men who undoubted added their own bits too it. So you see, you're not as religion free as you think, because you only get this idea that you can have belief from man made institutions.

                Now, you could make the argument that even if there was no church and no bible, you would intuitively know that there must be a higher power, a God, and that intuition would be enough to justify belief. Even if that were true, you would only have belief in a very general sense. However you've very clearly talked about Jesus and being the children of God, which are specifics that you would have only gotten from either church, the bible, clergy or some other man made institution. You don't just wake up one day never even having heard of Jesus and suddenly just intuitively or magically know the story of the sermon on the mount or the story of the resurrection. You have to be taught these things, by humans. So there is no pure source, your belief only comes from the very institutions you claim aren't as important as the specific belief that only comes from them in the first place. It's all very circular.

                The only "pure source" would be if God directly appeared to you or spoke to you in your mind. At which point you would either be hallucinating or schizophrenic.
                Last edited by Jinx; 04-25-2011, 06:50 PM.
                "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest" - Confucius

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                • #48
                  Re: Atheism and being Armenian

                  Jinx, I think you'll find that there are believers who believe because they have tested the things that were taught to them and found them to be true. When you tell a child not to touch the stove because it's hot, they don't believe you until they get burned and over a period of the learning/testing stage, they will discover that the parent speaks the truth.

                  The only pure source that exists is intelligence. The bible and other written pieces of literature are historical writings and stories told by people and recorded by journalists of that time. Why do you as a Philosopher think that you're able to question your own existence? Does a bird or other creature sit there and ask itself why it has instinct to survive? Life is simple, survival is complex. Why should you as an Armenian care about the survival of Armenians as a distinct culture if you have no belief that you are here for a purpose?
                  "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Re: Atheism and being Armenian

                    Originally posted by KanadaHye View Post
                    Jinx, I think you'll find that there are believers who believe because they have tested the things that were taught to them and found them to be true. When you tell a child not to touch the stove because it's hot, they don't believe you until they get burned and over a period of the learning/testing stage, they will discover that the parent speaks the truth.
                    I absolutely agree. The problem is that spiritual or religious belief doesn't come anywhere near being a sort of objective, demonstrable truth as in the example of the baby and the stove. Sure, faith can help someone make sense of the world, provide comfort or meaning in someone's life, and be used as a tool to pass down values that parents prefer their children to have. But in no way does that make it true.

                    Originally posted by KanadaHye View Post
                    Why do you as a Philosopher think that you're able to question your own existence?
                    I don't know why. And that's precisely the point, that I don't know. And I'm willing to try and find out, and investigate the issue, or at least respect those who actually do the hard work in studying this topic... which to me is a far nobler pursuit than just saying "What a mystery, it must have been God."

                    Originally posted by KanadaHye View Post
                    Why should you as an Armenian care about the survival of Armenians as a distinct culture if you have no belief that you are here for a purpose?
                    A belief in God has nothing at all to do with preserving and appreciating human civilization. Anyone can stand in absolute awe of what we as a primate species have been able to accomplish, and wanting to preserve and pass down that love of art, culture, science and history, be it of our own specific one or human civilization in general, has everything to do with solidarity and nothing to do with any belief in Gods. If anything, religion has destroyed a lot of history and culture by branding it pagan or heretical, and often quite explicitly asks its followers to abandon any love or connection with the material world and submit fully to the celestial one.
                    Last edited by Jinx; 04-25-2011, 07:50 PM.
                    "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest" - Confucius

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Re: Atheism and being Armenian

                      Originally posted by Yedtarts View Post
                      So according to you these writers, artists and historians were atheists just because they did not attend a church or even evolved with it. Maybe they were muslims or jehovah’s witness who knows? Don't give yourselves credits so fast!
                      I never said that at all, they didn't necessarily build their lives around religion, nor was every song and book inspired by religion. If it was then Armenian culture would have been dull, never adapting or changing, I think it is quite the opposite. Religion has it's place and life has another, there is culture in religion but also culture in everything else. I wonder for example how you could claim the church teaches Armenians to cook. :lol:
                      Last edited by hipeter924; 04-25-2011, 07:55 PM.

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