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Noobbot
Mors_Gloria + Thesaurus

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:35 pm 
 

wight_ghoul wrote:
Kruel wrote:
Okay, then, it was written by people anyway, so there is nothing really "holy" or authoritative about it. In that sense, it is "false," or does not hold any factual truth.

As authoritative than the Vedas or any other religious text, so yeah. Although there is factual truth in the bible of the historical variety (so it isn't fair to say that it contains none), and when talking about myth or philosophy or morality it isn't entirely appropriate to speak in terms of true/false. A myth may not be literally true (be it Genesis 1, the Iliad, Beowulf, anything), but this is not to say that it is devoid of any value.


The thing is, myths are known to be myths. Well, non-religious myths, anyway. We all know that King Arthur probably never existed, and that the Greek deities didn't actually directly involve themselves with the people (their nonexistence would play a role in that); we know that these stories are reflections of the societies that created them. In much the same way, religions are the reflections of the cultures that practice them. However, people believe canon to be factual, and to have only minor instances of figurative language. Even moderate Christians believe most of the Bible is a literal text.

But even if it isn't entirely literal, much of that which clearly is, is outstandingly false. So I beg to differ; the Bible itself contains, as a document, very little knowledge of history, philosophy, or anything else. It contains tenfold the ignorance at the very least. But the reason the Bible and other canon, such as the Kuran, should be preserved is to demonstrate the fallibility of these supposedly "holy" texts, and to constantly generate the question of why intelligent men continued to believe in such an illogical thing for so long.

wight_ghoul wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
It's nice that I proved the Bible is bullshit, and that you're going to keep believing in it, yeah. It's really nice. You and two billion others.
...
No there isn't. It doesn't say, "God created the earth in like six days." Or, "it was as if six days passed and God had created the universe and all its contents." It doesn't say, "The Israelites were possibly in some far edge of the Sinai peninsula." How, then, is there figurative language? And seeing as you're such an expert, I would hope you can speak Greek and Aramaic so you can translate the original documents yourself.

You're falling into the same fallacies the fundamentalist Christians do with the bible (probably as a side effect of learning to attack only their arguments?). The way the bible in general is written suggests that even the ancients didn't consider it to be literal truth; much of it (including the creation myths) are intended as religious texts and as part of the genre of myth, not as history or science. The literary structure of Genesis 1 for instance is structured in a poetic way to emphasize not the actual, literal formation of the earth but to emphasize the importance of the Sabbath as a holy day. The inclusion of the contradictory story in Genesis 2 enforces the idea that the stories are not to be taken as literal, and devices such as the naming of the first man as Adam ("mankind") shows again that it is meant to be allegorical.

The fundamentalists get so caught up in their perfect bible that they ignore the obvious intent of the texts, and their opponents get so caught up in attacking them that they declare the bible "wrong"; both miss the whole point of the text in many areas...


I wasn't even assuming all the Bible to be literal. I didn't point out that for the world to populate (according to the story of the Bible), there would have been much incest, despite the Bible either forgetting that or simply contradicting it.

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wight_ghoul
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 1:44 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:12 am 
 

Noobbot wrote:
The thing is, myths are known to be myths. Well, non-religious myths, anyway. We all know that King Arthur probably never existed, and that the Greek deities didn't actually directly involve themselves with the people (their nonexistence would play a role in that); we know that these stories are reflections of the societies that created them. In much the same way, religions are the reflections of the cultures that practice them. However, people believe canon to be factual, and to have only minor instances of figurative language. Even moderate Christians believe most of the Bible is a literal text.

But even if it isn't entirely literal, much of that which clearly is, is outstandingly false. So I beg to differ; the Bible itself contains, as a document, very little knowledge of history, philosophy, or anything else. It contains tenfold the ignorance at the very least. But the reason the Bible and other canon, such as the Kuran, should be preserved is to demonstrate the fallibility of these supposedly "holy" texts, and to constantly generate the question of why intelligent men continued to believe in such an illogical thing for so long.

What is your source for the beliefs of "moderate Christians"? Again you seem to be speaking against the fundamentalist viewpoint of the bible; not the bible itself as it was intended. Certainly criticisms such as yours do a fine job of demonstrating the idiocy of those who believe the bible to be literal. But for those who take the bible on its own terms (a significant portion to be sure), it takes more than pointing out inconsistencies between Gen 1 and 2 (for example) to demonstrate the uselessness of their bible. Someone who treats the bible as a moral guide is not impressed when someone shows the book's inadequacy as a history or science textbook.

Noobbot wrote:
I wasn't even assuming all the Bible to be literal. I didn't point out that for the world to populate (according to the story of the Bible), there would have been much incest, despite the Bible either forgetting that or simply contradicting it.

This is just the thing; such a criticism isn't relevant because the creation stories in the bible are myths, not literal histories. The sexual logistics of it aren't of concern to the writers or the audience.

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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:39 am 
 

Noobbot wrote:
However, people believe canon to be factual, and to have only minor instances of figurative language. Even moderate Christians believe most of the Bible is a literal text.


1.2 of the 2.5 billion Christians in the world are Catholics, and Catholics do not believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. Catholics are also quite moderate in comparison with many of the other denominations. I'm curious as to where you get your belief that moderate Christians think the Bible is largely literal.
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incarcerated_demon
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Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:21 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:17 am 
 

wight_ghoul wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
The thing is, myths are known to be myths. Well, non-religious myths, anyway. We all know that King Arthur probably never existed, and that the Greek deities didn't actually directly involve themselves with the people (their nonexistence would play a role in that); we know that these stories are reflections of the societies that created them. In much the same way, religions are the reflections of the cultures that practice them. However, people believe canon to be factual, and to have only minor instances of figurative language. Even moderate Christians believe most of the Bible is a literal text.

But even if it isn't entirely literal, much of that which clearly is, is outstandingly false. So I beg to differ; the Bible itself contains, as a document, very little knowledge of history, philosophy, or anything else. It contains tenfold the ignorance at the very least. But the reason the Bible and other canon, such as the Kuran, should be preserved is to demonstrate the fallibility of these supposedly "holy" texts, and to constantly generate the question of why intelligent men continued to believe in such an illogical thing for so long.

What is your source for the beliefs of "moderate Christians"? Again you seem to be speaking against the fundamentalist viewpoint of the bible; not the bible itself as it was intended. Certainly criticisms such as yours do a fine job of demonstrating the idiocy of those who believe the bible to be literal. But for those who take the bible on its own terms (a significant portion to be sure), it takes more than pointing out inconsistencies between Gen 1 and 2 (for example) to demonstrate the uselessness of their bible. Someone who treats the bible as a moral guide is not impressed when someone shows the book's inadequacy as a history or science textbook.

Noobbot wrote:
I wasn't even assuming all the Bible to be literal. I didn't point out that for the world to populate (according to the story of the Bible), there would have been much incest, despite the Bible either forgetting that or simply contradicting it.

This is just the thing; such a criticism isn't relevant because the creation stories in the bible are myths, not literal histories. The sexual logistics of it aren't of concern to the writers or the audience.


I should've thought that the Bible would be one of the last books you'd look to for moral guidance. Or are the "moderate Christians" just interested in the New Testament? Isn't that just cherry picking?

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EverSoSentient
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:17 am 
 

Not really, since being christian is believing in christ as the child of god, and all that. So, the new testament is really the focal point of christianity. Deriding christians for not talking about the old testament is an argument to be sure, but not a very strong one.

That said, any interpretation of any text could be said to be "cherry picking" to an extent. We have a tandency to include information that "fits" with our cognitivte structures, and exclude informations that doesn't. So if we are talking about being guided by the "moral" contained within a text, this is how our mind functions. We choose the parts that fit, and exclude others. This is a very simplistic explanation of course, but it gets the point across.

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The_Beast_in_Black
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:13 am 
 

The thing is, Jesus said that every part of the old laws should still be upheld.
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EverSoSentient
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:06 am 
 

But then you're doing a literal interpretation of the text which is not something a modern christian would do. Again, modern christians are selective in what parts of the bible they choose to uphold and/or read as is anyone from any religous movement. Texts are always interpreted which is why we have fundamentalists, christian/muslim/judaist feminists, and so on. If you look back at England during the 1700th century there were even christians within the Levellers movement that called for equal rights by refering to man as equal in front of god, or that the bond between man and jesus contained neither freedom nor slavery (see this text from the BBC, or The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution by Christopher Hill).

That the religous texts are always the subject of interpretation also goes without saying if you agree that the world isn't exactly the same as some 2000-3000 years ago (or more). Even the most stiff necked fundamentalist would be hard pressed to find literal answers to all aspects of life in texts over 1500 years old. You have to make some interpretation of the text in order for it to even be usefull in a modern context, unless you choose to mimic the exact same way of life as back in the day. This should be pretty self-evident, but apparently it need to be pointed out.


So, no matter how much shit anyone want to fling at the old/new testament the fact of the matter is that any scripture is the subject of interpretation, which is also why wight_ghoul is right in his assessment.

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incarcerated_demon
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:42 am 
 

EverSoSentient wrote:
But then you're doing a literal interpretation of the text which is not something a modern christian would do. Again, modern christians are selective in what parts of the bible they choose to uphold and/or read as is anyone from any religous movement. Texts are always interpreted which is why we have fundamentalists, christian/muslim/judaist feminists, and so on. If you look back at England during the 1700th century there were even christians within the Levellers movement that called for equal rights by refering to man as equal in front of god, or that the bond between man and jesus contained neither freedom nor slavery (see this text from the BBC, or The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution by Christopher Hill).

That the religous texts are always the subject of interpretation also goes without saying if you agree that the world isn't exactly the same as some 2000-3000 years ago (or more). Even the most stiff necked fundamentalist would be hard pressed to find literal answers to all aspects of life in texts over 1500 years old. You have to make some interpretation of the text in order for it to even be usefull in a modern context, unless you choose to mimic the exact same way of life as back in the day. This should be pretty self-evident, but apparently it need to be pointed out.


So, no matter how much shit anyone want to fling at the old/new testament the fact of the matter is that any scripture is the subject of interpretation, which is also why wight_ghoul is right in his assessment.


I agree, so where is the worth of these so-called holy texts if they're interpreted to anyone's liking? I absolutely agree with you, that's what modern Christians do. So why do we need the Bible then? If Christians choose the Bible passages that reinforce what they already know, there's no extra value to it.

Alternatively, the 'shit-flinging' by the atheists only serves to highlight what an outdated piece of literary work these holy texts are. That's why they bang on about Leviticus etc all the time. It serves to remind christians that the bible contains some nasty bits, which diminishes their claims of moral value.

(For Muslims it's a different story though. The Qu'ran is sacrosanct, it is the literal word of god handed down to Muhammad, which is why relatively little contextual interpretation is needed. Of the hadith, perhaps more, since they are oral traditions of the behaviour of the prophet. But the basic holy text of the Muslims is not to be cherry picked, it is to be taken wholesale, which is great for atheists who point out the nasty bits in it.)

All this of course ties in with what wight_ghoul was saying: the niceties of theology and history aren't likely to interest your average Christian Joe. That being said, there is no doubting that most of them (all that I've met anyway) take certain sections of the Bible at face value, in its literal sense. Fundies and moderates alike believe in Jesus as the son of god for example, the resurrection and all that too. So criticism of holy texts is valid and valuable, and you can't avoid the questions by saying "oh I don't believe in THAT bit, and I don't think anyone else does."

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Resident_Hazard
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:03 am 
 

DBettino wrote:
Yes, Zoroastrianism is indeed close to Judeo Christianity. A couple excerpts from the Wkipedia article I found interesting:

Ahura Mazda's creation — evident as asha, truth and order — is the antithesis of chaos, evident as druj, falsehood and disorder. The resulting conflict involves the entire universe, including humanity, which has an active role to play in the conflict.
Active participation in life through good thoughts, good words and good deeds is necessary to ensure happiness and to keep the chaos at bay. This active participation is a central element in Zoroaster's concept of free will, and Zoroastrianism rejects all forms of monasticism.

Of course I'm no expert on Zoroastrianism, but implicit here, as I see it, is the notion that chaos represents nature. The human-like creator brings order. It is the faith that maintains order on a human level. The natural world apart from humanity is in disarray and must be corrected with morality.



And from the viewpoint of a primitive, uneducated person, nature would represent chaos. In modern scientific study, the natural state of things tends to be ordered, rather than chaotic. As I mentioned in the Athiesm/Agnostic thread, the Golden Spiral is the mathematical formula on which nature appears to be built.

I believe the "end of days" scenario in Zoroasterianism is also shockingly similar to that of the Christian faith. Religions come up with the most fascinating, and violently absurd, scenarios for the end of the world.
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EverSoSentient
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:29 am 
 

incarcerated_demon wrote:
<snip>

Well, then I guess the one question we all have to ask is why we believe what we do in the first place. I think most of us would consider ourselves rational beings who choose values by some sort of measure. Thing is, it usually doesn't work that way. What values we choose are usually the result of a pretty complex interaction between ourselves and our environment. "We just do" is a poor answer, but it fits for the most part.

There is no simple answer to the question of beliefs. If you agree on what I wrote above, and you don't have to, the question could just as well be turned on ourselves. Why do I believe what I do? Because it will maximize the good in the world? How can I know that? Is it even possible to know that? Or is the belief perhaps something that I find to be true, because it is true. If I know there is no possible way to measure what good my belief will do I'll just have to settle on the belief being good. I could come to some conclusion by reason, but do I really do so for all values I hold, all the time?

There was a time when the broad majority of christians were going the route of logic and reason to prove the existence, and indeed the absolute need, of god. This changed with Luther to become "by belief alone", which is probably why you hardly see any christian using anythin other than second grade logic to claim the existance of god. This also ties in to what I wrote above: Luther basically severed the link between belief and reason.

So if we agree that everyone believe because they do, then being a chrisitian might not have so much to do with values and moral as with identity. Any religous and/or social movement is a strong base on which to build identity and that is probably what most do. The question of asking them to justify their believs then becomes a question of asking them to justify their identity. I don't know about you, but I would find that very hard to do. Again, we just are. Trying to prove to others why we are what we are is more or less an act of futility.

Does this mean it isn't meaningful to question christians on their beliefs. No, there is always a point to question the beliefs of others. But it is meaningless to try and make them turn away from the bible.

Resident_Hazard wrote:
Zoroasterianism is also shockingly similar to that of the Christian faith.

They are from the same region, and Zoroasteranism is one of the oldest religions in the world so it makes perfect sense. Religion is a social construct in as much as it "evolves" in conjunction with the environment surrounding it. Take the part of christianity where the soul is "reincarnated" in heaven. Some scholars say this originally meant to be a reincarnation in flesh, but since the flesh was considered weak, or a prision, in ancient grece this became to be a "reincarnation" in spirit instead.

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David29
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:14 am 
 

EverSoSentient wrote:
Well, then I guess the one question we all have to ask is why we believe what we do in the first place.

Why? When I was a Cristian my life is simply put not to great. Not in comparison to now anyways. Since I've been a Heathen my life has been getting better not that it was all to bad just very far away from where I wanted it to be and getting ever farther. I also believe what I do because I have spoken to Gods and one on several occasions in which I was granted a gift for a few days. That is why I believe because for me it is very real and very helpful. So even if I did not like Heatheny it would still exist for me.
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incarcerated_demon
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:31 am 
 

EverSoSentient wrote:
Well, then I guess the one question we all have to ask is why we believe what we do in the first place. I think most of us would consider ourselves rational beings who choose values by some sort of measure. Thing is, it usually doesn't work that way. What values we choose are usually the result of a pretty complex interaction between ourselves and our environment. "We just do" is a poor answer, but it fits for the most part.

There is no simple answer to the question of beliefs. If you agree on what I wrote above, and you don't have to, the question could just as well be turned on ourselves. Why do I believe what I do? Because it will maximize the good in the world? How can I know that? Is it even possible to know that? Or is the belief perhaps something that I find to be true, because it is true. If I know there is no possible way to measure what good my belief will do I'll just have to settle on the belief being good. I could come to some conclusion by reason, but do I really do so for all values I hold, all the time?

There was a time when the broad majority of christians were going the route of logic and reason to prove the existence, and indeed the absolute need, of god. This changed with Luther to become "by belief alone", which is probably why you hardly see any christian using anythin other than second grade logic to claim the existance of god. This also ties in to what I wrote above: Luther basically severed the link between belief and reason.

So if we agree that everyone believe because they do, then being a chrisitian might not have so much to do with values and moral as with identity. Any religous and/or social movement is a strong base on which to build identity and that is probably what most do. The question of asking them to justify their believs then becomes a question of asking them to justify their identity. I don't know about you, but I would find that very hard to do. Again, we just are. Trying to prove to others why we are what we are is more or less an act of futility.

Does this mean it isn't meaningful to question christians on their beliefs. No, there is always a point to question the beliefs of others. But it is meaningless to try and make them turn away from the bible.



Well I was mostly agreeing with you up until the last sentence. I really do think that atheists on the whole leave the religious alone, I honestly do. This is a rehashing of the "you did it first" playground argument, but it's only when the religious start to claim their version of events as the truth, that the barbed responses start flying. I absolutely agree, people's beliefs are their beliefs - but they should be treated as such. I treat a child who thinks that Santa Claus exists with amused tolerance, and the religious should be treated as such. Now when the kid starts insisting that we set a place at the dinner table for his friend that no one else can see, that's when it starts to get worrying.

If the religious want us all to get along fine, well keep religion "up on high", make it beyond the spectrum of human knowledge. Leave the temporal and the physical to science, logic and reason. Can the religious do that? If they'd stop interfering with the teaching of science and all that, a large bulk of the resentment towards the religious would disappear. However I imagine that certain scientific truths rather run counter to the religious worldview, which is why there is disagreement.

In summary, I really really assure you no one is trying to turn people away from the bible. The criticism of it is purely on THEIR terms, and motivated by the desire to keep religion out of the space of science and reason. If religion forsakes that space, I think we can all get along just fine.

And I'll even set the damn dinner table for the imaginary friend.

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incarcerated_demon
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:33 am 
 

David29 wrote:
EverSoSentient wrote:
Well, then I guess the one question we all have to ask is why we believe what we do in the first place.

Why? When I was a Cristian my life is simply put not to great. Not in comparison to now anyways. Since I've been a Heathen my life has been getting better not that it was all to bad just very far away from where I wanted it to be and getting ever farther. I also believe what I do because I have spoken to Gods and one on several occasions in which I was granted a gift for a few days. That is why I believe because for me it is very real and very helpful. So even if I did not like Heatheny it would still exist for me.


I really don't understand what you're trying to say...

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David29
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:54 am 
 

incarcerated_demon wrote:
David29 wrote:
EverSoSentient wrote:
Well, then I guess the one question we all have to ask is why we believe what we do in the first place.

Why? When I was a Cristian my life is simply put not to great. Not in comparison to now anyways. Since I've been a Heathen my life has been getting better not that it was all to bad just very far away from where I wanted it to be and getting ever farther. I also believe what I do because I have spoken to Gods and one on several occasions in which I was granted a gift for a few days. That is why I believe because for me it is very real and very helpful. So even if I did not like Heatheny it would still exist for me.


I really don't understand what you're trying to say...


I'm just saying as for why I believe and how similar situations can affect people into believing in a religion. If one claims to have had spiritual contact as I as well am claiming, then the belief of whatever it may be is sent into a permanent state for that individual. Does that clarify? Or am I not explaining to well?
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wight_ghoul
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:02 pm 
 

incarcerated_demon wrote:
I should've thought that the Bible would be one of the last books you'd look to for moral guidance. Or are the "moderate Christians" just interested in the New Testament? Isn't that just cherry picking?

EverSoSentient has made some decent points, I just want to highlight here. The division between Old/New Testament is anything but an arbitrary one; that Christians often emphasize the New isn't cherry picking. It's fine "bang on about Leviticus" as long as the criticizer recognizes that the difficulty lies in the fact that the Christian God once told man to behave this way, not that Christians are supposed to behave this way now.

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EverSoSentient
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:52 pm 
 

incarcerated_demon wrote:
If the religious want us all to get along fine, well keep religion "up on high", make it beyond the spectrum of human knowledge. Leave the temporal and the physical to science, logic and reason. Can the religious do that? If they'd stop interfering with the teaching of science and all that, a large bulk of the resentment towards the religious would disappear. However I imagine that certain scientific truths rather run counter to the religious worldview, which is why there is disagreement.

In summary, I really really assure you no one is trying to turn people away from the bible. The criticism of it is purely on THEIR terms, and motivated by the desire to keep religion out of the space of science and reason. If religion forsakes that space, I think we can all get along just fine.

And I'll even set the damn dinner table for the imaginary friend.

As I see it there are two issues that are apparent from reading this thread (quickly, so I'm extrapolating from previous experience of this type of debate as well): 1) the notion that christians hold beliefs that are incoherent and contradictory because they have to be based on the bible, that is in itself incoherent and contradictory. 2) Christians get flak because they meddle in things they shouldn't.

1) There is no clear cut answer to this, and it's a complex issue. Everyone who has ever read the bible will find that there are contradictions in both values espoused and descriptions of god/jesus/whatever. Again, this has to do with how we hold beliefs in general. We ARE contradictory wether we like it or not. Almost to the point where values are dependent on context, even if I don't like that idea in particular. Do we agree that theft is immoral? Most would. But for everyone, including someone who lost it all in some natural disaster? Probably not. Same goes for most christians that I've ever known. They do recognize that their values are based on bits and pieces of the bible, yet they hold the bible to be the word of god in one way or other. Does this even work? No, but not any less so than for any one of us when it comes to our own values.

2) This might be due to the fact that christianity in my part of the woods is a pretty secular phenomenon. That is, it's held to be a personal choice within the realm of metaphysics. Very few, if any, christians around here would ever call for "christianity" to be in control of science, so to speak, or offer the christian myth of creation as the answers to why the world came to be. Hell, even one of our catholic high priests said that it wasn't necessary to believe in the virgin birth (!) - and that really IS saying something (on a tangent: this statement would actually invalidate the idea of of jesus as the son of god). So it seems the claim that the bible can offer a scientific (if they call it that) explanation of the world is a phenomenon that occurs more in other parts, such as the US. This is in itself very interesting and there are some historic reasons why this is so, but that's another discussion. But I agree, christianity have nothing to say in the realm of science. But this has never been much of a problem where I'm from.

David29 wrote:
I'm just saying as for why I believe and how similar situations can affect people into believing in a religion. If one claims to have had spiritual contact as I as well am claiming, then the belief of whatever it may be is sent into a permanent state for that individual. Does that clarify? Or am I not explaining to well?

I'm not really getting what your trying to say. You believed in god, had a revelation, turned to heathendom. You state you came to your beliefs through this revelation (?), which is basically what I said. Not the revelation part, but that how we come to believe what we do is a complex issue and not, although we might like to think so, a rational choice.

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incarcerated_demon
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:41 pm 
 

David29 wrote:
incarcerated_demon wrote:
David29 wrote:
EverSoSentient wrote:
Well, then I guess the one question we all have to ask is why we believe what we do in the first place.

Why? When I was a Cristian my life is simply put not to great. Not in comparison to now anyways. Since I've been a Heathen my life has been getting better not that it was all to bad just very far away from where I wanted it to be and getting ever farther. I also believe what I do because I have spoken to Gods and one on several occasions in which I was granted a gift for a few days. That is why I believe because for me it is very real and very helpful. So even if I did not like Heatheny it would still exist for me.


I really don't understand what you're trying to say...


I'm just saying as for why I believe and how similar situations can affect people into believing in a religion. If one claims to have had spiritual contact as I as well am claiming, then the belief of whatever it may be is sent into a permanent state for that individual. Does that clarify? Or am I not explaining to well?


I think so, thanks. What kind of gifts would these be, and how do you speak to god?

wight_ghoul wrote:
EverSoSentient has made some decent points, I just want to highlight here. The division between Old/New Testament is anything but an arbitrary one; that Christians often emphasize the New isn't cherry picking. It's fine "bang on about Leviticus" as long as the criticizer recognizes that the difficulty lies in the fact that the Christian God once told man to behave this way, not that Christians are supposed to behave this way now.


That's fair enough, but cherry picking is still a major part of the modern Christian tradition which still remains my original point. For example, the Ten Commandments are in the Old Testament (and I imagine Christians still adhere to the "no false gods" commandment), while obviously Leviticus and the rest of Deuteronomy aren't adhered to quite as much. I take your point of course.

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incarcerated_demon
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:58 pm 
 

EverSoSentient wrote:
As I see it there are two issues that are apparent from reading this thread (quickly, so I'm extrapolating from previous experience of this type of debate as well): 1) the notion that christians hold beliefs that are incoherent and contradictory because they have to be based on the bible, that is in itself incoherent and contradictory. 2) Christians get flak because they meddle in things they shouldn't.

1) There is no clear cut answer to this, and it's a complex issue. Everyone who has ever read the bible will find that there are contradictions in both values espoused and descriptions of god/jesus/whatever. Again, this has to do with how we hold beliefs in general. We ARE contradictory wether we like it or not. Almost to the point where values are dependent on context, even if I don't like that idea in particular. Do we agree that theft is immoral? Most would. But for everyone, including someone who lost it all in some natural disaster? Probably not. Same goes for most christians that I've ever known. They do recognize that their values are based on bits and pieces of the bible, yet they hold the bible to be the word of god in one way or other. Does this even work? No, but not any less so than for any one of us when it comes to our own values.


I realise that we're arguing specifically about the worth of the Bible as a moral guide here, and in that there is some that is commendable in it. "Do unto others..." I feel strikes particularly close to what I believe in, being a secular humanist myself. However I still cannot get past the compelling argument that there is prejudice, hatred and some disgusting practices in the Bible (the Old testament specifically - which funnily has more historical worth than the New) which have not stood the test of time. Thus the moderate Christian argues for contextual reading which is sensible enough I suppose. But if values can be separated from the Bible and its teachings (the good bits), then what need have we for it? You said it's for a form of identifying oneself with something, and I agree. The social motivations for religion are, I feel, on the whole more compelling that any special textual content that the Bible may contain or its proponents may suggest.

Quote:
2) This might be due to the fact that christianity in my part of the woods is a pretty secular phenomenon. That is, it's held to be a personal choice within the realm of metaphysics. Very few, if any, christians around here would ever call for "christianity" to be in control of science, so to speak, or offer the christian myth of creation as the answers to why the world came to be. Hell, even one of our catholic high priests said that it wasn't necessary to believe in the virgin birth (!) - and that really IS saying something (on a tangent: this statement would actually invalidate the idea of of jesus as the son of god). So it seems the claim that the bible can offer a scientific (if they call it that) explanation of the world is a phenomenon that occurs more in other parts, such as the US. This is in itself very interesting and there are some historic reasons why this is so, but that's another discussion. But I agree, christianity have nothing to say in the realm of science. But this has never been much of a problem where I'm from.


Fucking heck, he said that? One wonders, cynically of course, if that was not a cheap popularity boosting thing, sort of "oh we're not all fundies who don't believe in divorce and condoms". Regardless, I believe that religion is to be kept firmly in the realm of the personal. Unfortunately, Malaysia is a Muslim country, ostensibly secular, but Islam enters the public realm at all levels (thankfully not education, not yet), that is why I feel a certain disdain for religion based on my experience. I follow a little of the ID/Creationism/Evolution debate in the US, and I feel a little stirring of anger everytime I read up on it.

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David29
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:04 pm 
 

EverSoSentient wrote:
David29 wrote:
I'm just saying as for why I believe and how similar situations can affect people into believing in a religion. If one claims to have had spiritual contact as I as well am claiming, then the belief of whatever it may be is sent into a permanent state for that individual. Does that clarify? Or am I not explaining to well?
how we come to believe what we do is a complex issue and not, although we might like to think so, a rational choice.


Yes! That's it exactly! Well that is what I think. Besides when is Religion ever described as being rational or sane anyways?

@incarcerated_demon- I'll PM you about it later. Right now I don't really feel like getting into it as I'm fending off a killer headache at the moment.
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wight_ghoul
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:47 pm 
 

incarcerated_demon wrote:
That's fair enough, but cherry picking is still a major part of the modern Christian tradition which still remains my original point. For example, the Ten Commandments are in the Old Testament (and I imagine Christians still adhere to the "no false gods" commandment), while obviously Leviticus and the rest of Deuteronomy aren't adhered to quite as much. I take your point of course.

Again I don't think it is really accurate to call this cherry picking, since it is more or less following the teachings of Jesus (who was more into the big picture and not so concerned with the minutiae of Jewish law) and of course Paul. It isn't like modern Christians are just picking the parts of the Old Testament they like in this case, there is a long standing theological basis for it.

Cherry picking is easier to identify in the following of the teachings of Jesus among modern Christians, I think. They love to quote the parts about loving your neighbour or accepting Jesus as your saviour, but are likely to deemphasize the teachings when it comes to things like giving all your money to the poor. Especially the rich Christians.

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EverSoSentient
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 5:38 pm 
 

Seeing as we are all pretty much in agreement here I get what you're saying, incarcerated_demon. I'm pretty glad I have the luxury of living in one of the most secular countries in the world where religion is passed on whole to the private sphere, although there are forces that would like to see "chrisitan" values included in the curriculum - fortunately they have had little luck so far. I'm aware that the situation in Malaysia is a lot different, and there is a real risk of it getting worse before it gets better I'm afraid. Any movement tend to become a real threat to individual freedom and expression when they claim the right to interpreting and prescribing moral absolutes for the general populace. This is even worse when the general populace also adhere, or even strive for, the same interpretation of values - as can be seen when countries introduce "safeguards" for their populace at the expense of civil liberties (in as much as they exist). So I see where you're coming from and this is a problem as it is also a breeding ground for future conflict. This is very true of countries where there's tensions between modernism and traditionalism. I suspect Malaysia can be considered such a place. Turkey would be another.

Quote:
"Do unto others..." I feel strikes particularly close to what I believe in, being a secular humanist myself.

You won't find many arguing about that one. :) Even so, I'd say Kant is a better source of ethics/morals than the bible. Even though I have some peculiar feeling he might have gotten some ideas from some well known source...

Overall I agree about the fact that the bible does contain some pretty questionable passages and this is something every christian has to deal with in some way or other, I guess. But as I said, becoming a christian is probably more of social phenomenon than a rational choice of what values to hold. So the need for the bible might not always be as a moral compass, but more of a artefact around which identity is based. Another obvious example would be why we're here on a metal forum. Obviously metal is a part of our identity. As such it's something we take for granted - there is no good answer to the question "why?". You might interfere that metal doesn't contain a system of belief and/or expressed values, but that's not the point. The point lies in how metal functions as a source of identification, same with the bible with most christians. Not being one myself I don't really know the answer so this is all wild speculation on my part.

I'd also like to second what wight_ghoul said about cherry picking. There is a long tradition on how to interpret the bible, and it's a fucking jungle so let's not get into it here. Still, your average christian probably doesn't know all that much about exegetics so I'll stand by my claim about values and beliefs.

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Noobbot
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:32 pm 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
However, people believe canon to be factual, and to have only minor instances of figurative language. Even moderate Christians believe most of the Bible is a literal text.


1.2 of the 2.5 billion Christians in the world are Catholics, and Catholics do not believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. Catholics are also quite moderate in comparison with many of the other denominations. I'm curious as to where you get your belief that moderate Christians think the Bible is largely literal.


Common Christian rhetoric, as well as preachers and what I was told when I was a Christian.

I'm especially curious as to where the hell everyone is getting this, "Christians don't think half the Bible is literal." That's why they, to no small extent, oppose evolution, right? That is why the big bang/cyclical universe theory is always seen to them as wrong, right? It's why homosexuals are viewed with disgust, and the 'ten commandments' are plastered in many a place? And when I say always for a given thing, I damn well mean it. I have yet to meet a church-going Christian who believed evolution and the big bang theory to be correct.

wight_ghoul wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
The thing is, myths are known to be myths. Well, non-religious myths, anyway. We all know that King Arthur probably never existed, and that the Greek deities didn't actually directly involve themselves with the people (their nonexistence would play a role in that); we know that these stories are reflections of the societies that created them. In much the same way, religions are the reflections of the cultures that practice them. However, people believe canon to be factual, and to have only minor instances of figurative language. Even moderate Christians believe most of the Bible is a literal text.

But even if it isn't entirely literal, much of that which clearly is, is outstandingly false. So I beg to differ; the Bible itself contains, as a document, very little knowledge of history, philosophy, or anything else. It contains tenfold the ignorance at the very least. But the reason the Bible and other canon, such as the Kuran, should be preserved is to demonstrate the fallibility of these supposedly "holy" texts, and to constantly generate the question of why intelligent men continued to believe in such an illogical thing for so long.

What is your source for the beliefs of "moderate Christians"? Again you seem to be speaking against the fundamentalist viewpoint of the bible; not the bible itself as it was intended. Certainly criticisms such as yours do a fine job of demonstrating the idiocy of those who believe the bible to be literal. But for those who take the bible on its own terms (a significant portion to be sure), it takes more than pointing out inconsistencies between Gen 1 and 2 (for example) to demonstrate the uselessness of their bible. Someone who treats the bible as a moral guide is not impressed when someone shows the book's inadequacy as a history or science textbook.

Noobbot wrote:
I wasn't even assuming all the Bible to be literal. I didn't point out that for the world to populate (according to the story of the Bible), there would have been much incest, despite the Bible either forgetting that or simply contradicting it.

This is just the thing; such a criticism isn't relevant because the creation stories in the bible are myths, not literal histories. The sexual logistics of it aren't of concern to the writers or the audience.


If Christians didn't believe the Bible to be mostly or for any major part to be literal, there wouldn't be this thing called "creationism" or "intelligent design." And I also don't only point out historical, logical, or scientific flaws within the old testament; the new testament has plenty errors of its own. Some parts are obviously literal (or Christians wouldn't seek to prove them); the creation myth, Noah's ark, Moses and the Israelites, the virgin birth, Jesus's life, Jesus's resurrection, revelations, et cetera. If you don't think revelations isn't taken literally, then please explain to me why it is that a major selling point of Christianity is the promise of rapture/damnation, and why those awful Left Behind books sell so well.

The only parts that aren't heavily interpretted as literal by most Christians would be either the whole kosher thing or Leviticus.

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incarcerated_demon
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:48 pm 
 

EverSoSentient wrote:
Seeing as we are all pretty much in agreement here I get what you're saying, incarcerated_demon. I'm pretty glad I have the luxury of living in one of the most secular countries in the world where religion is passed on whole to the private sphere, although there are forces that would like to see "chrisitan" values included in the curriculum - fortunately they have had little luck so far.


Would that be the UK, or a European country of some sort?

Quote:
Any movement tend to become a real threat to individual freedom and expression when they claim the right to interpreting and prescribing moral absolutes for the general populace. This is even worse when the general populace also adhere, or even strive for, the same interpretation of values - as can be seen when countries introduce "safeguards" for their populace at the expense of civil liberties (in as much as they exist).
That's really what gets my goat about religion, the way it's imposed onto other people. I really have no problems about it practised in private. In Malaysia it's heavily tied in with politics - well I suppose religion to some extent or other is tied in with politics all round the world.

Quote:
You won't find many arguing about that one. :) Even so, I'd say Kant is a better source of ethics/morals than the bible. Even though I have some peculiar feeling he might have gotten some ideas from some well known source...


Ah we have a Kantian here. He's bloody unreadable, I rely on wikipedia and Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for my Kant knowledge. One of the densest and incomprehensible texts ever. That bit about humans as an end, not as a means strikes a particular chord in me.

Quote:
Another obvious example would be why we're here on a metal forum. Obviously metal is a part of our identity. As such it's something we take for granted - there is no good answer to the question "why?". You might interfere that metal doesn't contain a system of belief and/or expressed values, but that's not the point. The point lies in how metal functions as a source of identification, same with the bible with most christians. Not being one myself I don't really know the answer so this is all wild speculation on my part.


No I agree. There's an immediate bond between fellow Christians, just as there's an immediate bond between fellow metalheads, or fellow Oprah-worshippers, or fellow Timbuktuans. The tribal instinct in people is hard to suffocate.

'Cos rock n roll is my religion and my law' - from the late great Ozzy Osbourne (not so great lately).

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The_Beast_in_Black
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:11 pm 
 

The thing is, if a religious text is left up to personal interpretation, it more or less loses it's authority as the universal life guide that it's follows believe it to be.
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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:13 pm 
 

Noobbot wrote:
Earthcubed wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
However, people believe canon to be factual, and to have only minor instances of figurative language. Even moderate Christians believe most of the Bible is a literal text.


1.2 of the 2.5 billion Christians in the world are Catholics, and Catholics do not believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. Catholics are also quite moderate in comparison with many of the other denominations. I'm curious as to where you get your belief that moderate Christians think the Bible is largely literal.


Common Christian rhetoric, as well as preachers and what I was told when I was a Christian.

I'm especially curious as to where the hell everyone is getting this, "Christians don't think half the Bible is literal." That's why they, to no small extent, oppose evolution, right? That is why the big bang/cyclical universe theory is always seen to them as wrong, right? It's why homosexuals are viewed with disgust, and the 'ten commandments' are plastered in many a place? And when I say always for a given thing, I damn well mean it. I have yet to meet a church-going Christian who believed evolution and the big bang theory to be correct.

.


I'm not Christian, so I wasn't using Christian rhetoric.


I take it you've never met a Catholic, then?
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Noobbot
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:15 pm 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
Earthcubed wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
However, people believe canon to be factual, and to have only minor instances of figurative language. Even moderate Christians believe most of the Bible is a literal text.


1.2 of the 2.5 billion Christians in the world are Catholics, and Catholics do not believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. Catholics are also quite moderate in comparison with many of the other denominations. I'm curious as to where you get your belief that moderate Christians think the Bible is largely literal.


Common Christian rhetoric, as well as preachers and what I was told when I was a Christian.

I'm especially curious as to where the hell everyone is getting this, "Christians don't think half the Bible is literal." That's why they, to no small extent, oppose evolution, right? That is why the big bang/cyclical universe theory is always seen to them as wrong, right? It's why homosexuals are viewed with disgust, and the 'ten commandments' are plastered in many a place? And when I say always for a given thing, I damn well mean it. I have yet to meet a church-going Christian who believed evolution and the big bang theory to be correct.

.


I'm not Christian, so I wasn't using Christian rhetoric.


I take it you've never met a Catholic, then?


Catholics oppose creationism? LAWL. I honestly hope you're jesting.

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Earthcubed
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:21 pm 
 

I went to Catholic schools for fourteen years, what the hell would you know about it?



Evolution is taught in Catholic schools, in the science classes (which are mandatory). It is also taught in the religion classes (which are also mandatory). The position of the Catholic Church for years has been that there is no conflict between evolution and a Christian faith in God. Intelligent design is rightfully acknowledged as unscientific and that is explicitly taught in schools. Theistic evolution is only taught in religion classes, and the teachers are instructed to tell the students that it is solely a religious theory, not a scientific one. In my experience, they do teach this.


The Big Bang has also been supported by the Catholic Church, since it is consistent with the Church's view that the universe had a beginning. As for the Church's teachings on homosexuality,

Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2358 wrote:
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

--- http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a6.htm#2357 (emphasis mine)



Like I said, it's the largest Christian body in the world, constituting almost half of the world Christian population. Beyond that, 71% of Americans belonging to the 12 largest Christian demoninations belong to one which is not opposed to evolution: http://www.cesame-nm.org/index.php?name ... =43&page=4




I'm really confused as to where you're getting your information about Christian teachings on Biblical literalism and science, because as far as I can tell, it's based on half-assed television stereotypes. The Christian churches as a whole are not beneficial to mankind anymore (if they ever were) due to a variety of other factors, but opposition to science is a relatively small one.
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wight_ghoul
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:05 pm 
 

Noobbot wrote:
If Christians didn't believe the Bible to be mostly or for any major part to be literal, there wouldn't be this thing called "creationism" or "intelligent design." And I also don't only point out historical, logical, or scientific flaws within the old testament; the new testament has plenty errors of its own. Some parts are obviously literal (or Christians wouldn't seek to prove them); the creation myth, Noah's ark, Moses and the Israelites, the virgin birth, Jesus's life, Jesus's resurrection, revelations, et cetera. If you don't think revelations isn't taken literally, then please explain to me why it is that a major selling point of Christianity is the promise of rapture/damnation, and why those awful Left Behind books sell so well.

The only parts that aren't heavily interpretted as literal by most Christians would be either the whole kosher thing or Leviticus.

Earthcubed is pretty much right, Noobbot. You say "Christians" but you are clearly referring to American fundamentalists. Creationism is comparatively rare outside parts of America, evolution is essentially accepted by the Catholic church and a nonliteral interpretation of the bible where it is demanded is dogma for them. Many parts of the bible you mention (the creation myths, Noah's Ark) are obviously not literal if we go by the standard of the text alone - "some Christians try to prove bible story x to be literal, therefore it is supposed to be literal" is not sound logic to be using. You can't evaluate the bible by what the fringe of its followers believe; mentioning "Left Behind" again indicates that you're focusing disproportionately on American fundamentalist/evangelical/born again Christianity.

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Noobbot
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:37 pm 
 

No, actually, I'm not wrong.

1. The universe didn't have a beginning. You clearly know nothing of Stephen Hawking, one of the men who pioneered the theory, as he said, himself, that the universe didn't actually have a true beginning. Time doesn't exist outside of energy and motion (and thus matter), and as all three are interdependent, that makes time relative. As far as we can tell, the universe is in a perpetual cycle that has always been and always will be. Watch one of his lectures to verify this, if you will.

2. They're not supporting the actual theory; they're supporting their misconception of it.

3. No theists support the notion of a self-sufficient universe. This removes the necessity of a god logically.

4. Still, Christians believe in false parts of the Bible. Well, the whole thing is false, but that's beside the point. The point is, stories such as Moses and the Israelites and such are historically false. And they're still considered to be literal passages. I don't think you'll find a Christian or Jew who would deny that.

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wight_ghoul
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:36 pm 
 

Noobbot wrote:
4. Still, Christians believe in false parts of the Bible. Well, the whole thing is false, but that's beside the point. The point is, stories such as Moses and the Israelites and such are historically false. And they're still considered to be literal passages. I don't think you'll find a Christian or Jew who would deny that.

On the contrary, I think you'd have a hard time finding a moderate Christian or Jewish scholar who would agree that the Moses narrative is literal history.

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The_Beast_in_Black
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:09 pm 
 

wight_ghoul wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
4. Still, Christians believe in false parts of the Bible. Well, the whole thing is false, but that's beside the point. The point is, stories such as Moses and the Israelites and such are historically false. And they're still considered to be literal passages. I don't think you'll find a Christian or Jew who would deny that.

On the contrary, I think you'd have a hard time finding a moderate Christian or Jewish scholar who would agree that the Moses narrative is literal history.


Maybe not a moderate Christian, but a Jewish scholar would most likely believe in Moses.
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Noobbot
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:58 pm 
 

wight_ghoul wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
4. Still, Christians believe in false parts of the Bible. Well, the whole thing is false, but that's beside the point. The point is, stories such as Moses and the Israelites and such are historically false. And they're still considered to be literal passages. I don't think you'll find a Christian or Jew who would deny that.

On the contrary, I think you'd have a hard time finding a moderate Christian or Jewish scholar who would agree that the Moses narrative is literal history.


Maybe not down to parting the seas and the plagues, but most will believe the Hebrews originated from Egypt.

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wight_ghoul
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:41 pm 
 

The_Beast_in_Black wrote:
Maybe not a moderate Christian, but a Jewish scholar would most likely believe in Moses.

Quite possibly, but that's the point. There's a big difference between believing Moses existed and believing that the Torah was written by him with each word being literal recordings of actual historical events.

Noobbot wrote:
Maybe not down to parting the seas and the plagues, but most will believe the Hebrews originated from Egypt.

:scratch: The bible doesn't say the Hebrews originated in Egypt. I assume you are referring to the exodus, the historicity of which is debated even among Jewish scholars. Regardless, as you acknowledge with the parting of the seas (etc.), a significant portion of Christians and Jews (especially the more biblically educated ones) do not take an absolute, infallible literal interpretation of every word of the text. The Catholic Church even has doctrine to specify this (Dei Verbum).

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Noobbot
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:23 pm 
 

That aside, I would like to address Catholicism's take on evolution.

If god guided mutations, how is that evolution? There are a few parts to evolution, and they are, as follows:
1. Random mutations occur due to environmental radiation and faulty cell reproduction and the like. Most of these will either have no effect or will be cancerous (at least in more complex organisms). However, some are beneficial, and thus improves the creature that underwent the mutation.
2. By process of natural selection, that creature then breeds more and dominates its respective environment(s) better than its competition, cancelling them out.
3. The traits are passed onto the offspring, who then continue to mutate, carrying forth the cycle of evolution. (Mendelian inheritance.)

This all occurs over a span of thousands of years, of course. But if most Christians don't believe (believe is a bit of an odd term to use here, seeing as evolution is essentially fact) in at least one of these components, which generally happens to be the first and most important, they do not believe in evolution. And the origin of life is a very similar debate, and one which Christians - Catholics included - show their true colors. They haven't the most basic grasp of biology, and so think that viruses could not have become bacteria, and bacteria your plankton and basic invertebrates. However, seeing as life is comprised of the same materials - that is, proteins, which are then all made of the same twenty amino acids - how is life "irreducibly" complex?

Your defense of Catholics, from my "misconceptions", generates certain suspicions in me. I have faith in your ability to understand what those suspicions are.

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wight_ghoul
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:39 pm 
 

Noobbot wrote:
That aside, I would like to address Catholicism's take on evolution.

If god guided mutations, how is that evolution? There are a few parts to evolution, and they are, as follows:
1. Random mutations occur due to environmental radiation and faulty cell reproduction and the like. Most of these will either have no effect or will be cancerous (at least in more complex organisms). However, some are beneficial, and thus improves the creature that underwent the mutation.
2. By process of natural selection, that creature then breeds more and dominates its respective environment(s) better than its competition, cancelling them out.
3. The traits are passed onto the offspring, who then continue to mutate, carrying forth the cycle of evolution. (Mendelian inheritance.)

This all occurs over a span of thousands of years, of course. But if most Christians don't believe (believe is a bit of an odd term to use here, seeing as evolution is essentially fact) in at least one of these components, which generally happens to be the first and most important, they do not believe in evolution. And the origin of life is a very similar debate, and one which Christians - Catholics included - show their true colors. They haven't the most basic grasp of biology, and so think that viruses could not have become bacteria, and bacteria your plankton and basic invertebrates. However, seeing as life is comprised of the same materials - that is, proteins, which are then all made of the same twenty amino acids - how is life "irreducibly" complex?

:scratch: I don't see why Catholics or probably most moderate Christians would oppose any of those parts of evolution or evolution in general. Do you understand that Catholic schools teach evolution, using the exact same curriculum used by the secular school system? Are you familiar with the concept of theistic evolution? Of course there are plenty of problems with theistic evolution, and if that is indeed what you are attempting to address then have at it. Just as long as we're clear that Catholics, and I would wager even most moderate Christians (outside of America at least), are probably not proponents of Creationism. Like the 100% literal interpretation of the bible, anti-evolution beliefs are confined to certain groups of Christianity and it would be erroneous to equate them with Christianity as a whole.

Noobbot wrote:
Your defense of Catholics, from my "misconceptions", generates certain suspicions in me. I have faith in your ability to understand what those suspicions are.

Ah, cognitive dissonance...

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Earthcubed
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:44 am
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:38 pm 
 

I'm not defending Catholics here, just the truth. Your misconceptions about them (as well as about....well, apparently all other major Christian denominations) are too glaring to ignore.



I could not give you any concrete documents on this, but from my experience in Catholic schools, most Catholics believe God set the events in motion in a beginning, and then let everything happen randomly. This is not in conflict with evolution, since evolution (or at least Darwinism) does not have anything to say on the origin of life. The Church's official stance is vague, however, simply saying God was involved in some way without specifying how.


wight_ghoul wrote:
Do you understand that Catholic schools teach evolution, using the exact same curriculum used by the secular school system?



That deserves to be requoted, since it's true in every way.
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goatmanejy
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Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:38 am
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 1:06 pm 
 

Noobbot wrote:
Even moderate Christians believe most of the Bible is a literal text.

I dont. Most of my friends dont.
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goatmanejy
Village Idiot

Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:38 am
Posts: 218
PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 1:09 pm 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
I'm not defending Catholics here, just the truth. Your misconceptions about them (as well as about....well, apparently all other major Christian denominations) are too glaring to ignore.



I could not give you any concrete documents on this, but from my experience in Catholic schools, most Catholics believe God set the events in motion in a beginning, and then let everything happen randomly. This is not in conflict with evolution, since evolution (or at least Darwinism) does not have anything to say on the origin of life. The Church's official stance is vague, however, simply saying God was involved in some way without specifying how.


wight_ghoul wrote:
Do you understand that Catholic schools teach evolution, using the exact same curriculum used by the secular school system?



That deserves to be requoted, since it's true in every way.



Doesnt the pope believe in evolution anyways?
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Lord Slop wrote:
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Bezerko wrote:
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Noobbot
Mors_Gloria + Thesaurus

Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 pm
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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 4:34 pm 
 

goatmanejy wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
Even moderate Christians believe most of the Bible is a literal text.

I dont. Most of my friends dont.


So what is literal then? Can one of you explain this to me, rather than saying, "nope, that's not literal" when I pick it apart? If I bother to provide evidence to show the entire Bible's bullshit, you'd say, "it's not literal. Not a single word." But there's already more than enough evidence, and if you've actually thought about the damned thing but still believe in it, you're an intellectually brain dead phillistine.

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goatmanejy
Village Idiot

Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:38 am
Posts: 218
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 1:25 pm 
 

Noobbot wrote:
goatmanejy wrote:
Noobbot wrote:
Even moderate Christians believe most of the Bible is a literal text.

I dont. Most of my friends dont.


So what is literal then? Can one of you explain this to me, rather than saying, "nope, that's not literal" when I pick it apart? If I bother to provide evidence to show the entire Bible's bullshit, you'd say, "it's not literal. Not a single word." But there's already more than enough evidence, and if you've actually thought about the damned thing but still believe in it, you're an intellectually brain dead phillistine.

This is for mature conversation. Please stay mature.

In my opinion, everything that relates a story in the bible that is not an account of the subject of the books life is not literal. For example, genesis, the flood, abraham, etc. are not literal stories and are all allegorical or partial accounts, while the story of moses and jesus are literal. I do think about these things.
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Lord Slop wrote:
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Bezerko wrote:
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