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Friday, May 25, 2007

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Vincent

It's tragic that Second Life's first indigenous religious movement should collapse over such a petty squabble. Incidentally, I get a feeling that the majority of regular Second Life users are atheist and agnostic, and those users probably made their belief choices after witnessing this very kind of pedantic, dogmatic infighting among religions. Here I am thinking the virtual world could've been a ripe realm for nurturing interfaith dialog sorely needed in First Life.

Oh well, such is Second Life, on one hand so utopian and experimental, on the other hand... so faithful to the real world, right down to the stupid quarreling.

I now turn my eyes to Sophianne Rhode's Koinonia project. Well coordinated, well funded. Perhaps they'll take up the mantle that the AOC fumbled. We'll see!

Batia

I dont't consider it a petty squabble. The avatarian *group* was based on the vision of a person, and the group took it upon themself to decide that person's view is wrong.

In my opinion, people should leave groups they dont agree with, rather then question the decision of the groups leader. It was really Taras's choice to make, and if the group had faith in the founder and fundimental creator, they wouldnt have found themself in this position.

Now the group has finished voting, it did not *pass*, weather or not anyone agrees, the AOC group has spoken by vote that *islam is not a tolerant faith*.... The outcome is that nothing has changed group policy, but the group itself is now in pieces and almost gone. There are SO many groups in sl... I think it sad that this group lost a good sound structure under it.... while in the process of finding out by vote that the founding leader had actually made the decision to begin with.

When do we start trusting the people we chose as leaders? Do we only trust them when it's convenient? What is real trust? If the group had trusted it's leaders decision, it would be in tact today. was it worth it?

Patrick

I'm thinking about starting a religion among casino zombies in Second Life. God knows we have plenty of them.
Every lemon is "good." Cherries too. We sit and stand. Already, we gather in one place very early in the morning. Why not worship the Almighty linden?
For a meeting spot, some of the casinos that are in the shape of a pyramid would be ideal.

Alex Burgess

@Patrick - Funny! But aren't zombies already part of the voodoo and Santeria pantheon? I think what they really need is liberation. The -=LAG=- (Lag Annihilation Group) and CLAM (Campers Liberation Army Movement) groups are already focused on this difficult but important struggle. IM me inworld, brother.

Artorios

I'm a big fan of Second Life and have been following your posts for a while.

Drown Pharoah

Actually, Wagner, I don't often lead prayers at Chebi. They were generally led by the late Zander Uralia, but by no one of late. As for the AoC, I've already been approached by two ex-members to form new Interfaith groups. However, I declined to be much more than a sleeping partner in such groups because I already live on an interfaith sim and participate in its interfaith group koinonia. Indeed, Muslims on SL are now looking to open their own interfaith island, al-Andalus, based on the real-life multifaith communities that blossomed during the 6 centuries Spain was under Muslim rule.

Laetizia Coronet

Interfaith groups are nearly impossible. In order to respect someone else's religion, you must be able to look at your own religion from a distance and recognize that the prayer laws, food laws and other such directives are just customs.
If you believe that eating pork is a sin, you cannot look at pork eaters as your equals. If you believe that the Pope is the representative of Jesus on Earth, you will look at Lutherans as poor souls which have strayed from the Path - not to mention those who don't believe in Jesus as the Son of God in the first place.

Ultimately, for interfaith groups to work, you must relinquish a good deal of your holy book(s). If it really doesn't matter much whether you eat pork or not, then why is it emphasized in the Qur'an or the Torah? If believing in Jesus is not a requirement for salvation, then why does it say so in the Bible? Does all this mean that our holy books are faulted? Or that we can shop around in them to pick up what we like and dismiss what we don't like? What does that tell us about the God who wrote or inspired them?

Brenda Archer

LOL, Laetizia, you'll lead people down the dangerous path to atheism with questions like that, hahahahaha!

Aliasi Stonebender

Well, Laerizia, I imagine they think a lot like the Hindu teacher Shri Ramnakrishna:

"The Avatara or Savior is the messenger of God. He is like the viceroy of a mighty monarch. As when there is some disturbance in a far-off province, the king sends his viceroy to quell it, so whenever there is a decline of religion in any part of the world, God sends his Avatara there. It is one and the same Avatara that, having plunged into the ocean of life, rises up in one place and is known as Krishna, and diving down again rises in another place and is known as Christ."

...

"Every man should follow his own religion. A Christian should follow Christianity, a Mohammedan should follow Mohammedanism, and so on. For the Hindus the ancient path, the path of the Aryan Rishis, is the best. People partition off their lands by means of boundaries, but no one can partition off the all-embracing sky over head. The indivisible sky surrounds all and it includes all. So common man in ignorance says, "My religion is the only one, my religion is the best." But when his heart is illumined by true knowledge, he know~ that above all these wars of sects and sectarians presides the one indivisible, eternal, all-knowing bliss.

As a mother, in nursing her sick children, gives rice and curry to one, and sago arrowroot to another and bread and butter to a third, so the Lord has laid out different paths for different men suitable to their natures.

Dispute not. As you rest firmly on your own faith and opinion, allow others. ..to stand by their own faiths and opinions. By mere disputation you will never succeed in convincing another of his error. When the grace of God descends on him, each one will understand his own mistakes. So long as the bee is outside the petals of the lily, and has not tasted the sweetness of its honey, it hovers round the flower emitting its buzzing sound; but when it is inside the flower. it noiselessly drinks its nectar . So long as a man quarrels and disputes about doctrines and dogmas, he has not tasted the nectar of true faith; when he has tasted it, he becomes quiet and full of peace."

Drown Pharoah

Please note that I am no longer a member of Second Life.

California Condor

Unless a religion is based within institutionalism, collapse of a group is not necessarily the end of the faith. There are those who do focus in on the group itself, and what its political influence represents, more than its message.

Religious tolerance comes at a cost. That cost, though, should never become forced eccumenicalism. Accepted divisions of beliefs among Avatarians only goes to prove again that freedom of religion is alive and well in Second Life. The expression of Avatarianism will most likely only change but not end.

With the release of The Second Life Bible (SLbible) it is evident that freedom of the press regarding religion is alive and well also. The message of the Holy Scriptures goes above and beyond any institution of man and remains unchained.

Beth Odets

I wanted to respond to what someone said....

"If you believe that eating pork is a sin, you cannot look at pork eaters as your equals."

this is NOT true. The jewish religion teaches us that non jews are not required to follow the kosher laws, and therefore do not break any commandment or commit a sin if they eat pork on a bun with bacon extra ham and cheese :)

Guess we're equals after all :)

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