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Who was Abraham that religions get named after him?


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@ dimreepr: I did and I noticed that you even asked the OP whether he had read the thread, which is kind of weird. Based on your observation as expressed in your last paragraph that was addressed to disarray, I cannot help to wonder if you have actually read it..?

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If i understand dimreepr correctly i agree with him.   Taking the example of original sin: the biblical story does not mention what type of fruit was eaten from the forbidden tree, but it has become

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham

When I first read Genesis I was amazed by this particular sentence So with Hubble we have began to count the number of stars. Without going into full details I have just Googled "the number of star

@ dimreepr: I did and I noticed that you even asked the OP whether he had read the thread, which is kind of weird. Based on your observation as expressed in your last paragraph that was addressed to disarray, I cannot help to wonder if you have actually read it..?

 

 

In which case I apologies for my assumption, which in your case was assumed due to my explanation in post #78; the NT exists but the history is sketchy.

<snip>

 

 

Duly notched.

-dimreaper: No need to announce your notching because of my weak posts..I am sure there are other competent posters in this thread.

 

I don't see how the intent of this thread was to provide a "plausible reason for the existence of religions and the bibles" so I see no reason to accept your challenge to do so.

 

The general trend of my posts has been to provide evidence that the figure of Abraham was largely constructed for political purposes, and such political purposes still provide fuel for conflict, particularly in the Middle East, to this day. I have no intention of just portraying religion in a bad light, however. On the contrary, I try to call a spade a spade: the various interpretations given to the Abrahamic narrative by different monotheistic religions over issues such as who are the chosen people, who is entitled to holy lands, and whose road to salvation is the only right one, have provided continual strife throughout the ages, and, for that reason, I have contended your claim that the thrust of the stories is one of providing contentment.

 

By not whitewashing these conflicts, but instead, bringing them to the foreground, I think that the the various religions connected with Abraham and his descendants can reach some sort of detente. This wish was expressed on a religious website as follows:

 

"If the Muslim is to enter into the heritage of Abraham he too must be willing to take the leap in the dark. The modern form of this community consciousness is nationalism in which religion is retained only for its value as a political weapon, and a deplorable situation arises when religion becomes the hand-maid of politics. The real value of any religion consists in what it means for its followers and not in the utilitarian ends it may be usd to achieve. To follow Abraham means the abandonment of what may be considered moral and material safeguards; it could mean the breaking away from the past in which we arc all so deeply rooted, and the ruthless cutting away of those prejudices which keep men apart. To be the friend of God in any sense of the words is to be the friend of man. Those who lay claim to being the children of Abraham must do the works of Abraham."

http://www.answering-islam.org/Books/MW/abraham.htm

 

 

OK let me explain, again:

 

Politics happens when tolerance becomes hatred.

 

 

"If the Muslim is to enter into the heritage of Abraham he too must be willing to take the leap in the dark. The modern form of this community consciousness is nationalism in which religion is retained only for its value as a political weapon, and a deplorable situation arises when religion becomes the hand-maid of politics. The real value of any religion consists in what it means for its followers and not in the utilitarian ends it may be usd to achieve. To follow Abraham means the abandonment of what may be considered moral and material safeguards; it could mean the breaking away from the past in which we arc all so deeply rooted, and the ruthless cutting away of those prejudices which keep men apart. To be the friend of God in any sense of the words is to be the friend of man. Those who lay claim to being the children of Abraham must do the works of Abraham."

 

 

 

Or do I, really, have to point out my post?

Edited by dimreepr
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This part could be pertinent, I'm not sure if it will bring contentment. "To be the friend of God in any sense of the words is to be the friend of man. Those who lay claim to being the children of Abraham must do the works of Abraham."

 

From a Christian perspective the works of Abraham is to show faith. Faith in the things that God or the Gods (monotheistic or polytheistic) have revealed to you. [Just hope you are not asked to offer a burnt sacrifice to the Lord.]

 

What are the works of Abraham from a Jewish or Muslim perspective?

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Robbity: You ask, "What are the works of Abraham from a Jewish or Muslim perspective?"

 

It seems as if the point of the quote is that Abraham's message was that one should practice the Golden Rule: be friend to each other ("man") as one would love God.

 

But I don't think that there is any one message that one might distil from the the Abraham narrative.

 

However, I don't subscribe to the idea that one should ignore the cultural context in which it was written....so it is really quite a different approach if one is looking at the issue from the viewpoint on the basis of faith that Abraham is a real person who spoke to God or just a character written about decades or centuries after his death who just had a lot of descendants. Indeed, I think that it is pretty hard to mix the two approaches in a discussion. So if one asks what the phrase "works of Abraham" suggests, one might clarify if one is assuming that Abraham spoke with God or not (e.g., did miracles actually happen with regards to Abraham).

 

The question as to whether he was a real person who claimed to be a prophet, etc., is ultimately not as crucial as whether he had a hot line to God. One cannot assume that even if we had photographic proof that he did such things as almost kill his own son, such proof does not thereby prove that he indeed had conversations with God, or was blessed by God, or was a friend of God (as Muslims apparently stress), or he was promised land by God, or that God said his descendant would be a savior.

 

But yes, if one does a little research one can easily make of list of the "positive" things we could say about Abraham:

 

  • Had a vision for the Oneness of God
  • Condemned idolatry
  • Helped his group get through a dark period
  • Was obedient to God
  • Had faith that God watches over on
  • Had faith and trust in God
  • Tried to abide by God's plan f
  • Believed God favors the righteous
  • Had strength of character and courage
  • Was willing to be spiritual without letting go of reason
  • Did't lose confidence in the truth, etc.

Like anything else, when one explicates a piece of literature, one can any number of approaches. I am not stating that any particular approach is better or preferable to another, whether one focuses on his character, or that people can be united, or on obedience, or on the spiritual contentment one might feel knowing God is watching over one, or on the idea that a group of people can have or claim to have a destiny, or whatever.

 

My focus is on the political because I guess one of the biggest issues throughout history right up to the present day has been the constant conflict between these great monotheistic religions...and part of the reason is that, owing to the fact that they have often had ulterior motives for interpreting the stories in a manner favorable to their own group, people have focused on the differences between their interpretations of the Abrahamic stories, rather than on the positives that unite them.

 

But good question...and in a nutshell, and apart from listing the ways that Muslims view Abraham (one can also make a list for Jews), I would say that it is indeed good to try to look at things from the other guys (e.g., religious group's) perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

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...

But yes, if one does a little research one can easily make of list of the "positive" things we could say about Abraham:

 

  • Had a vision for the Oneness of God
  • Condemned idolatry
  • Helped his group get through a dark period
  • Was obedient to God
  • Had faith that God watches over on
  • Had faith and trust in God
  • Tried to abide by God's plan f
  • Believed God favors the righteous
  • Had strength of character and courage
  • Was willing to be spiritual without letting go of reason
  • Didn't lose confidence in the truth, etc.

....

 

 

 

 

Disarray - I'm wondering if you and I read the same story of Abraham (the basic story). I don't really see all these things there.

 

Would you be willing to show me how you come to each of these conclusions please?

 

I was more or less quoting from the Book of Hebrews (NT) and from memory where it describes Abraham as being justified by faith.

OK that too then is someone else's interpretation but one that is accepted as the Christian point of view.

Having such a long list (I'm again making presumptions) are you looking at it from a Jewish background point of view?

Edited by Robittybob1
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Robbity: It is always interesting to see the gap that always exists to one degree or another between what one says and what another person thinks one says, no matter how careful one is to choose ones words carefully.

 

I guess I could have made a similar list off the top of my head, but no, I thought someone might say, in so many words, that there is no evidence in the Bible for the things I say.

 

To answer your question, though, it is not a Jewish point of view, thought I could have easily gone there, but rather taken from an Islam site that I just picked from near the top of the google list when I punched in a few key words. I scanned through the article and picked out relevant passages and created the list. Took me about 5 minutes to put together the list....Does it seem long? I'm sure I could have put together a much longer list, or perhaps even made a list of 10 or even 20 for each of the three monotheistic religions.

 

I presume this site relies on Quran, though the stories it alludes to are usually found in Jewish and scriptures as well.

 

Site used: http://www.amanaparenting.com/prophet-abraham-lessons/
Also see: https://muslimmemo.com/lessons-life-prophet-ibrahim/


I guess you could say that Abraham is a sort of Rorschaah test....where one sees what one wants to see, and what one sees tells you more about oneself than about Abraham.

Edited by disarray
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.....

I guess you could say that Abraham is a sort of Rorschaah test....where one sees what one wants to see, and what one sees tells you more about oneself than about Abraham.

 

From within your heart what do you see? Don't rely on the stories no more, they are pointless if he didn't even exist in the first place.

If you believe all these stories I will accept that is what you see, but if you don't what remains?

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Robbity:

I don't subscribe to a literal interpretation of any religious scriptures, though the term atheist doesn't describe me either...but that is another book, as they say.

 

Well, when I say Rorschaach test, I am referring to the way both writers and followers of any given faith respond to stories found in scriptures. With respect to Abrahamic-based, monotheism, I see a whole range of things, but in general I think that the mentality of an entire society is typically more political (e.g., creating churches that have power, land and money) than that of individual believers, who tend to see the story more in terms of being secure in the comforting knowledge that there is a God who cares about people, who guides their lives (if they only let him), and, if one behaves in a certain way, provides sustenance, support, and perhaps even revenge when faced with deprivation or persecution in troubled times.

 

As for believing the stories, I can't give a black and white answer.....I believe that there were probably several people back then called Abram or some similar name, who herded animals, had thousands if not millions of descendants, foretold the future, had intimations as to what the universe and/or God's ultimate plan might be for humankind or at least their tribe or extended tribe, performed various types of sacrifices in order to appease the gods, had ideas that seem quite ignorant by today's standards, found ways to justify taking over other people's land, etc.

 

But I don't think that even the general outline of the Abrahamic story (aka narrative), is the same in all the three major monotheistic religions that tell that story. And certainly not all of the details 'don't matter', e.g., as to whether Abraham almost sacrificed Ishmael or Isaac.

 

But who knows, there may have been a time when God literally spoke to prophets and made them promises, though this scenario does not fit well with my idea of how things work.

 

So I see this as Abraham's story as one that, like most stories, reflects various cultures throughout history, and, much as would an objective anthropologist, I would add a disclaimer to the scriptures saying that none of the characters in the story represent actual people, or that the story is basically true, but that the names have been changed and the events modified or sensationalized to suit the audience.

 

In any case, that's just my take..and every person will have a slightly different one, I would suggest. In any case, asking for a simple "yes, I believe" or "no, I don't believe" is, I think, asking someone to respond in a rather simplistic and limited way to a complex subject.

It's not really a matter of either one believes a story in a given text word for word, or else there is nothing else that remains, but rather it is a matter of taking what is useful and glossing over the rest...which is what, I suggest, from bacteria to Buddha, all that anyone really ever does anyway.

Edited by disarray
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It's not really a matter of either one believes a story in a given text word for word, or else there is nothing else that remains, but rather it is a matter of taking what is useful and glossing over the rest...which is what, I suggest, from bacteria to Buddha, all that anyone really ever does anyway.

 

@ Disarray - that is a very rare phrase "from bacteria to Buddha" and it is yours! Very true "taking what is useful and glossing over the rest". [The two finds of the phrase via Google probably have nothing to do with you.]

Edited by Robittybob1
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Apart from the "bacteria to Buddha" gem, I also liked:

I would add a disclaimer to the scriptures saying that none of the characters in the story represent actual people, or that the story is basically true, but that the names have been changed and the events modified or sensationalized to suit the audience.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Robbity: Yes, I got the 'bacteria to Buddha' phrase when I thought about how to talk about the range of living things in a way that expresses both physical and spiritual evolution.

 

So ending the phrase with the word "Buddha" was rather obvious. Then it because a question as to where to start at the lower end of the spectrum. I recalled reading a claim that certain a group of Buddhists (or could have been Hindi) had the saying that one should not step on even an ant, as all creatures are on the way to Nirvana, and you are just delaying their journey; and that, indeed, members of the group actively (so the story goes) watched where they stepped.

 

Instead of 'ants to Budhha', I opted for bacteria to Buddha as it was alliterative, bacteria were more primitive than ants, and viruses were too close to being inorganic.

 

I did find one hit on Google though, when I put in "bacteria to Buddha" with the quote marks, as it was apparently the heading some Hindu devotee put as the title of his forum page, so guess I am not the first person in the world who thought of the phrase and found it catchy.

Edited by disarray
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....

I did find one hit on Google though, when I put in "bacteria to Buddha" with the quote marks, as it was apparently the heading some Hindu devotee put as the title of his forum page, so guess I am not the first person in the world who thought of the phrase and found it catchy.

Still a very rare expression indeed. Cheers

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