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Featured What were the good old days?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Jumi, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    From a religious perspective, your own or your religions, was there ever a time when things were better then they are today?
     
  2. pcarl

    pcarl Well-Known Member

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    Depending on ones perspective at the time each could probably be defined by Dickens;


    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
     
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  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Libertarian Gearhead
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    What were the good old days?
    Not so great.
     
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  4. Kemosloby

    Kemosloby Well-Known Member
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    I think it has to do with being a kid, when you're a kid everything seems better, so when you get old you look back to when you were a kid and those were the good old days.
     
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  5. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    It's a strange question to ask of a religious demographic that deliberately pulls inspiration from traditions that were systematically eradicated by other groups long ago. From that vantage point, it's pretty hard for a contemporary Pagan to say anything other than "well, yes, things were a heck of a lot better for us Pagans before polytheism was wiped out of Western culture."

    It's also a strange question to ask of a religious demographic that tends to venerate the greater-than-human world. On that issue, it's pretty hard to say anything other than "well, considering the last couple centuries have seen large scale climate change, ecological genocide, and a sixth mass extinction, yes, the greater-than-human world was much better off then than it is now."

    On the other hand, Pagans are also commonly bibliophiles and nerds who love learning and exploring new things. There, it's hard to say anything other than "in this information age, we have so much knowledge at our disposal it's positively intoxicating!"

    But, on the whole, contemporary Paganism is an outgrowth of Romanticism. The spirit of the movement hearkens to the past, with exceptions here and there.
     
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  6. sunrise123

    sunrise123 The sea remains the sea whatever the drop thinks
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    Never. Things might have been quieter with problems lurking beneath the surface but the past is not better than the present.
     
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  7. 'mud

    'mud ~~ Life is Stuff ~~
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    When a tree foot string of licorice was a penny !
     
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  8. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen uǝɥʇɐǝH ɹǝɥʇɐℲ

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    And a paycheck was five dollars.
     
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  9. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I view the time before the internet as the Dark Ages, when I actually had to read books.

    So no good old days prior to that.
     
  10. Duke_Leto

    Duke_Leto Member

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    I think people would generally be happier (if not longer-lived) living in some type of tribal society. Barring pre-agrarian society though, I think conditions for most have generally improved over time.
     
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  11. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Ha, those were the good old times. Going to the library or the used books store and picking up ideas... and you'd have time to read and think through them.
     
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  12. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    I mostly agree. Part of me misses that kind tribal sense of community. I bet some people belong to political parties or religions just to have a sense of that, even if it often turns out to be something else.
     
  13. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...

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    What were the "good old days?" Whatever you feel the most nostalgia about, and therefore entirely personal to you. My "good old days" are almost certainly not much like your "good old days" (or anybody else's).
     
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  14. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...

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    And by the way, something else that "the good old days" are: unretrievable.
     
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  15. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    While everyone has opinions about when we were most prosperous, happy, dominant or free, the OP asks specifically about the religious good old days. This is more problematic. How would such a thing even be determined? What would the criteria be?
     
  16. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member

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    Things are quite better after independence, but clearly 1300 CE - 1900 CE were not that great for Hindus in India with Muslim rule and British rule. "Days" are kind of relative to the expectations one has of course.
     
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  17. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...

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    Thorny question, "What would the criteria be?" Human happiness? "Truth?" Access to useful knowledge?

    And of course, you can't really answer any of those. Human happiness, if it is to mean anything, must be cumulative. If some happiness is achieved at the cost of unhappiness in others, that can't really be what we might call a "religious" truth. Surely anything we might think of as "God" couldn't work that way.

    "Truth?" Well, all you need to do is demonstrate it. What, from anybody's version of "the Good Old Days," has been shown to be unassailable "truth" applicable to our present days?

    And "useful knowledge?" Can anybody provide me with one thing that any religion has given us, that could not be found without religion, that has been shown to be universally useful to us? I'm sorry, but when I look for useful knowledge, I never, ever look to religion. Religion has no mechanism to acquire such a thing. Religion asserts pedagogically that the mechanisms that can get you there (test, discard what is shown to be false and keep what is shown to be true, build on the latter, and above all to question everything). Religion hates those simple things that are the only things that tell us what is true.

    Which were the religious "good old days" that inspire you (sorry, Valjean, by "you" I mean readers, not you personally)? Catholics burning Protestant heretics? Protestants burning Catholic heretics? Muslims killing Christians or Jews (and all of the variants that you can put together by simply shuffling the religions)? How about Missionaries bringing misery (and often extinction) to many of the cultures and societies of our earth?

    I guess I really want to know this: what are you, the Opening Poster, looking for?
     
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  18. 'mud

    'mud ~~ Life is Stuff ~~
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    Ahhhhhhh..........religion !!!
    nuff said.....
     
  19. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Well that depends on the person I guess. I also want to know what kind of criteria makes the good old days for someone else, especially religionwise.
     
  20. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    These are human matters, things that we use our own minds to solve. God isn't like people and probably doesn't care about human happiness.

    Well if truth is criteria for good old days then arguably the best times have been when there has been most honesty, in primitive tribal societies.


    This doesn't apply to religions in general, perhaps more to religions that you're familiar with.

    I think most sensible people will think those are the worst days of their religion.

    I'm not selling any good old days. I'm looking for other peoples ideas. So many say things are bad now that supposedly there has been a better time if things are "bad" now instead of normal.
     
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