Author Topic: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'  (Read 522 times)

xSilverPhinx

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2017, 05:28:44 PM »
I'm glad you find the topic interesting, Icarus! :grin:

...Party on!

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Quote
Now I will have to dig through the library to find the Machiavelli tome. Will Books and Cats need to put the Prince on our reading list?

If you do read it I am very interested in your perspective. :smilenod:


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Arturo

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2017, 06:00:54 PM »
It's interesting that the bible uses words like "lord" and "king". In fuedal kingdoms, lords were owners of land who ruled over serfs and took payment (crops) in return for military protection. I could see how this system in the bible could be something to organize serfs into being integrated into the fuedal system.

It creates a system of obedience and of courtship. Similar things come to mind. Bushido, for samurai. Omerta, the code for the mafia. They all helped the members survive. The only difference for the bible was that the survival of the members required them to spread the religion by recruiting more members.

There are also other simularities that have to do with the connection to the earth and environment people lived in way back then. For example it says man was made out of sand (other places is clay but same point) and many times in the bible it says they tracked through the desert. Native Americans and some african tribes have this connection to the earth. That the earth is where they came from. But the bible tweaked that to accommodate pagan gods who were people. God made you, from earth.
But, uh...well there it is.
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Dave

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2017, 06:47:51 PM »
It's interesting that the bible uses words like "lord" and "king". In fuedal kingdoms, lords were owners of land who ruled over serfs and took payment (crops) in return for military protection. I could see how this system in the bible could be something to organize serfs into being integrated into the fuedal system.

It creates a system of obedience and of courtship. Similar things come to mind. Bushido, for samurai. Omerta, the code for the mafia. They all helped the members survive. The only difference for the bible was that the survival of the members required them to spread the religion by recruiting more members.

There are also other simularities that have to do with the connection to the earth and environment people lived in way back then. For example it says man was made out of sand (other places is clay but same point) and many times in the bible it says they tracked through the desert. Native Americans and some african tribes have this connection to the earth. That the earth is where they came from. But the bible tweaked that to accommodate pagan gods who were people. God made you, from earth.
Religion is all about power and control.
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2017, 06:58:00 PM »
It's interesting that the bible uses words like "lord" and "king". In fuedal kingdoms, lords were owners of land who ruled over serfs and took payment (crops) in return for military protection. I could see how this system in the bible could be something to organize serfs into being integrated into the fuedal system.

I can definitely see the lords and kings using religion to their advantage! In The Prince Machiavelli wrote that a leader must appear to be religious when it suits them.

Quote
It creates a system of obedience and of courtship. Similar things come to mind. Bushido, for samurai. Omerta, the code for the mafia. They all helped the members survive. The only difference for the bible was that the survival of the members required them to spread the religion by recruiting more members.

Christianity started as a religion for slaves (one could say that there's little difference between serfs and slaves as far as the quality of most of their lives were). It was basically an underground cult until Justinian took the first steps towards installing Christianity in his empire, which became the dominant religion during Constantine's reign, who ended the persecution against the Christians. 

Why would slaves find this religion so appealing? Did it help alleviate suffering? Were they already conditioned to be 'lambs' or followers of a higher power? Maybe they just switched real human"shepherds" for another, one that was abstract but still had human mouthpieces (the clergy).

Then, along came Protestantism which rejected the main source of religious authority in the Middle Ages. They did not take too kindly to that. Reformation, Counter Reformation...it's a power struggle. The Bible was printed in languages other than clerical Latin, which caused big problems for those who sought to control.

Quote
There are also other simularities that have to do with the connection to the earth and environment people lived in way back then. For example it says man was made out of sand (other places is clay but same point) and many times in the bible it says they tracked through the desert. Native Americans and some african tribes have this connection to the earth. That the earth is where they came from. But the bible tweaked that to accommodate pagan gods who were people. God made you, from earth.

That is interesting. :chin:

I'm going to play Devil's God's Advocate here.  :devil: There is a hypothesis that clay might have played a part in the origin of life. 

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/4784/20131106/life-evolved-clay-researchers-find.htm
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Dave

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2017, 07:08:08 PM »
Silver said:
Quote
I'm going to play Devil's God's Advocate here.  :devil: There is a hypothesis that clay might have played a part in the origin of life. 

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/4784/20131106/life-evolved-clay-researchers-find.htm

Hmm, did I miss any link there that some clays are formed from fine volcanic ash? Add that to mineral rich volcanic water, or even mineral rich rain due to volcanic action . . .
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Arturo

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2017, 07:35:17 PM »
Well to be fair, bushido was only created a few years before world war 1. It also was more propaganda to agenlicize samurai than actual rules they followed. It left a huge mark though and inspired the famous kamikaze attacks. It was the same in that pawns were the frontmen and the ones sacrificing to serve higher ups.
But, uh...well there it is.
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Dave

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2017, 08:02:56 PM »
Well to be fair, bushido was only created a few years before world war 1. It also was more propaganda to agenlicize samurai than actual rules they followed. It left a huge mark though and inspired the famous kamikaze attacks. It was the same in that pawns were the frontmen and the ones sacrificing to serve higher ups.
"Lions led by donkeys" may have some truth in it over the ages, despite the "cruel calculus" of the needs of war.
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2017, 05:12:30 AM »
Silver said:
Quote
I'm going to play Devil's God's Advocate here.  :devil: There is a hypothesis that clay might have played a part in the origin of life. 

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/4784/20131106/life-evolved-clay-researchers-find.htm

Hmm, did I miss any link there that some clays are formed from fine volcanic ash? Add that to mineral rich volcanic water, or even mineral rich rain due to volcanic action . . .

I think so. I think it has more to do with how the clay' molecules are arranged which "protect" and compartmentalise organic molecules and reactions. I'm not too sure though, I would have to look into it. One hypothesis I've read is that RNA in certain hydrogels can even replicate, which might be a testable idea if there are no time constraints. :notsure:
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2017, 05:15:18 AM »
Well to be fair, bushido was only created a few years before world war 1. It also was more propaganda to agenlicize samurai than actual rules they followed. It left a huge mark though and inspired the famous kamikaze attacks. It was the same in that pawns were the frontmen and the ones sacrificing to serve higher ups.

That's very interesting, Arturo, I didn't know that. It seems to be a little like religious martyrdom in a way.
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Dave

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2017, 05:23:22 AM »
Silver said:
Quote
I'm going to play Devil's God's Advocate here.  :devil: There is a hypothesis that clay might have played a part in the origin of life. 

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/4784/20131106/life-evolved-clay-researchers-find.htm

Hmm, did I miss any link there that some clays are formed from fine volcanic ash? Add that to mineral rich volcanic water, or even mineral rich rain due to volcanic action . . .

I think so. I think it has more to do with how the clay' molecules are arranged which "protect" and compartmentalise organic molecules and reactions. I'm not too sure though, I would have to look into it. One hypothesis I've read is that RNA in certain hydrogels can even replicate, which might be a testable idea if there are no time constraints. :notsure:

This is going OT but... Since the article mentioned polymers and both RBA and DNA are also polymers . . .  Generate a few trillion different polymers and who knows what might happen.
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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2017, 05:29:37 AM »
There are other views of the character of God than those expressed here.  Machiavelli does not corner the market in that regard.  I'm curious why you even discuss God's character since you don't believe in him, irrespective of how he might be if he exists.  A text could paint him as the most loving, merciful, compassionate being possible, and you would not believe in him.  So why the effort at defining his character based on one interpretation?

Machiavelli doesn't speak of the Xtian God, he mentions Christians and Christianity in his book, and not in a favourable light, which is one of the reasons he was banned by the Catholic Church back then and given labels such as "anti-christian". 

Believing is not a prerequisite to trying to compare or analyse. On the conceptual level he does exist to an atheist -- an idea that believers try to "sell" even if they do this by using threats and force. I chose to compare the Christian God to Machiavelli's prince in particular because I live in a mostly Xtian society and that's the concept or idea that one encounters everyday. 

I'm curious why certain beliefs and ideas take root in people's minds. Like I wrote above, I do realise that different people have different mental representations of god. I think that if the idea of god is modeled on something such as Machiavelli's prince then that would be very interesting. Nothing more, nothing less.

Your interpretation does not seem to be the most common out there. Apparently I'm going to hell because I'm an atheist based on what I've been told by a lot of people.

If this is just a mental exercise, then I offer an alternative to The Prince, and that would be The Shepherd.   That is a pretty consistent motif in the NT.  Both Christians and atheists fixate on the OT, which, in my view, presents a wrong model for God.  I believe that Jesus, to the extent he was able to do in the culture in which he lived, tried to correct that mistaken view of God.  Unfortunately, the OT and NT  get lumped together, giving rise to the harsh and judgmental view of God that we see here.  My view differs significantly from this model. It builds on what Jesus began, and brings it to a more logical conclusion.

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2017, 05:30:27 AM »
This is going OT but... Since the article mentioned polymers and both RBA and DNA are also polymers . . .  Generate a few trillion different polymers and who knows what might happen.

Yes, probabilities certainly increase that something very interesting might happen. :grin: The clay hypothesis beats the RNA World hypothesis I think, which has fallen into scientific disfavour in the past few years. 
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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2017, 05:42:53 AM »
There are other views of the character of God than those expressed here.  Machiavelli does not corner the market in that regard.  I'm curious why you even discuss God's character since you don't believe in him, irrespective of how he might be if he exists.  A text could paint him as the most loving, merciful, compassionate being possible, and you would not believe in him.  So why the effort at defining his character based on one interpretation?

Machiavelli doesn't speak of the Xtian God, he mentions Christians and Christianity in his book, and not in a favourable light, which is one of the reasons he was banned by the Catholic Church back then and given labels such as "anti-christian". 

Believing is not a prerequisite to trying to compare or analyse. On the conceptual level he does exist to an atheist -- an idea that believers try to "sell" even if they do this by using threats and force. I chose to compare the Christian God to Machiavelli's prince in particular because I live in a mostly Xtian society and that's the concept or idea that one encounters everyday. 

I'm curious why certain beliefs and ideas take root in people's minds. Like I wrote above, I do realise that different people have different mental representations of god. I think that if the idea of god is modeled on something such as Machiavelli's prince then that would be very interesting. Nothing more, nothing less.

Your interpretation does not seem to be the most common out there. Apparently I'm going to hell because I'm an atheist based on what I've been told by a lot of people.

If this is just a mental exercise, then I offer an alternative to The Prince, and that would be The Shepherd.   That is a pretty consistent motif in the NT.  Both Christians and atheists fixate on the OT, which, in my view, presents a wrong model for God.  I believe that Jesus, to the extent he was able to do in the culture in which he lived, tried to correct that mistaken view of God.  Unfortunately, the OT and NT  get lumped together, giving rise to the harsh and judgmental view of God that we see here.  My view differs significantly from this model. It builds on what Jesus began, and brings it to a more logical conclusion.

I have often wondered whether the O and NT gods really were the same entity, the NT writers were bound to reference the OT just to ride on its existing "authority" in the minds of people. The Ronans drew links between their gods and most local ones, providing the local ines did not try to muscle in too much. The Christians, OTOH, are well into evangelising and pushing their way in, following Peter. Maybe that is why the Romans initially tried to wipe them out rather than try to absorb them. Wonder if they tried to link Christianity with Mithraism to bring it under control but failed.
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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2017, 05:55:16 AM »
There are other views of the character of God than those expressed here.  Machiavelli does not corner the market in that regard.  I'm curious why you even discuss God's character since you don't believe in him, irrespective of how he might be if he exists.  A text could paint him as the most loving, merciful, compassionate being possible, and you would not believe in him.  So why the effort at defining his character based on one interpretation?

Machiavelli doesn't speak of the Xtian God, he mentions Christians and Christianity in his book, and not in a favourable light, which is one of the reasons he was banned by the Catholic Church back then and given labels such as "anti-christian". 

Believing is not a prerequisite to trying to compare or analyse. On the conceptual level he does exist to an atheist -- an idea that believers try to "sell" even if they do this by using threats and force. I chose to compare the Christian God to Machiavelli's prince in particular because I live in a mostly Xtian society and that's the concept or idea that one encounters everyday. 

I'm curious why certain beliefs and ideas take root in people's minds. Like I wrote above, I do realise that different people have different mental representations of god. I think that if the idea of god is modeled on something such as Machiavelli's prince then that would be very interesting. Nothing more, nothing less.

Your interpretation does not seem to be the most common out there. Apparently I'm going to hell because I'm an atheist based on what I've been told by a lot of people.

If this is just a mental exercise, then I offer an alternative to The Prince, and that would be The Shepherd.   That is a pretty consistent motif in the NT.  Both Christians and atheists fixate on the OT, which, in my view, presents a wrong model for God.  I believe that Jesus, to the extent he was able to do in the culture in which he lived, tried to correct that mistaken view of God.  Unfortunately, the OT and NT  get lumped together, giving rise to the harsh and judgmental view of God that we see here.  My view differs significantly from this model. It builds on what Jesus began, and brings it to a more logical conclusion.

While possibly gentler than a ruthless, politically savvy ruler I don't think too highly of shepherds either. Sheep-herder, human herder...humherds? :chin: I think too many people already evade responsibility for their actions, and having a divine shepherd in the mix can really increase that tendency. I'm not saying that everyone does this, but it does happen to a considerable degree.

Anyway, I find your view on the God of the OT to be interesting. Unfortunately, the OT is part of the Christian Bible, though and is still used as justification for backward beliefs and behaviours we still have to deal with today. It's part of the religion. You might argue that their view is wrong, but it's there and apparently here to stay.

I'm not saying that I want people to follow the OT more, I'd much rather they cherry-pick the nicer things about their religion as I think it's less harmful and can even be beneficial to society. 

From the cynical but practical view, why the switch from the vengeful God to the loving God? Were people wrong back then of their interpretations or used different filters for interpreting "divine" events? Did society and how people saw the world evolve into something different, which made people adopt Christianity? What is it about this religion that is so attractive?
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Dave

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Re: God's Character and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2017, 06:15:52 AM »
If you look at the OT as allegorical, much as the Greek myths and legends is now viewed (Oedipus and Elektra in particular), it makes an interesting exercise in analysis. Just as the Greek gods and legends tended to be bloodthirsty so . .

The NT is more of a collection of morality tales, idealistic modes of behaviour, parables/examples and other things to, maybe, negate the OT in many ways, get the people out of "the old way of thinking" IMHO. Good intentions. But, human nature being what as it is it quite soon became just another excuse to lop heads off or have people-roasts.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 06:57:15 AM by Gloucester »
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