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Judgement Day and We Can Know: What the hell?

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Posts

  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    zerg rush wrote: »
    All that crazy shit at the back of the book is totally fake bro. Ya gotta be dumb not to understand metaphor, son.

    All that crazy shit at the front of the book is totally true. Y u gotta deny the scriptures?

    Everything in the old testament was erased by Jesus*

    *except that whole "god hates queermos" thing from Leviticus, we're keeping that

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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The Bible is a very complex and layered book. Understanding it (and I mean parts of it, not all of it, because I don't think there is someone who understands everything in it) requires studying history, literary styles, the social practices of ancient cultures, ancient languages, the theology of several religions, and many other topics. There's a reason why biblical studies is a thing.

    But the one thing that both fundies and atheists seem to agree on is their refusal to study anything at all or to see the Bible as anything besides a single unified narrative with only one clear and unambiguous meaning that is exactly what they say it is.

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  • ACSISACSIS Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I think there is a philosopical component to it as well, its not just mystical stories.

    For me personally that philosopical component can be such a strong motivator that i can accept the proposed ideals as sound and meaningful and totally disconnect from the mystical component.

    Of course, if you do that you tend not to stick to one sheme. You start comparing because you might suspect other ideas can be sound and meaningful as well. And sooner or later i strumbled about Zen wich is already stripped of the mystical elements you find in other variants. Its totally compatible - even to atheism. And i realized here is peace, here everything can converge if pausing but for a moment. At a heartbeat of undistorted perception, free from all the seperation people bring among themselfes and still being yourself i felt strangely disconnected and still being part of the whole. It felt... like coming home from a long journey.

    A major impact on myself is that i learned never to look down on somebody for his/her faith, wich i consider a invaluable lesson that is unfortunately highly uncomon in these troubled times.

    People may walk different paths and still can converge to the same ideals. Its not exclusive, in most cases its simply another form of expressing the same idea or a concept is simply labeled different. On most occasions nobody really cares to look and understand the perspective of anyone but oneself.

    If mysticism has no meaning to you thats okay, omit it. For somebody else however, who percives the same thing from a different perspective or interpretation it may be invaluable.

    I suggest you consider that.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNkIpdT60RM&feature=related
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  • DelzhandDelzhand motivated battle programmerRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I hear the whole "Revelation is a metaphor" thing, but aren't metaphors supposed to make sense on multiple levels? I can say "I travelled across the world on a green sheep, slew a dragon with my sword made from a star, and returned home with a glorious maiden" and tell people it's a metaphor because the green sheep is my car, the sword is a credit card, and the glorious maiden is a jug of milk, but that doesn't mean it makes any fucking sense.

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  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    The Bible is a very complex and layered book. Understanding it (and I mean parts of it, not all of it, because I don't think there is someone who understands everything in it) requires studying history, literary styles, the social practices of ancient cultures, ancient languages, the theology of several religions, and many other topics. There's a reason why biblical studies is a thing.

    But the one thing that both fundies and atheists seem to agree on is their refusal to study anything at all or to see the Bible as anything besides a single unified narrative with only one clear and unambiguous meaning that is exactly what they say it is.
    I don't see the Bible as a single unified narrative with only one clear and unambiguous meaning.

    HOW DO YOU FUCK UP BAGELS. YOU BOIL THE WATER. PUT IN THE NOODLES
  • zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    The Bible is a very complex and layered book. Understanding it (and I mean parts of it, not all of it, because I don't think there is someone who understands everything in it) requires studying history, literary styles, the social practices of ancient cultures, ancient languages, the theology of several religions, and many other topics. There's a reason why biblical studies is a thing.

    That's cool. The bible's a really interesting book.

    The problem comes when you try to use it as strong evidence that intelligently controlled breaches in the laws of physics occurred. That's when things just get silly.




    Also, if we're going to post youtube videos, I suppose I ought to try and bring this thread back more on target.
    Here's one of the Grand Master of the Kiai school of martial arts... in Ki manipulation. Much like Harold Camping, he believed his own claims of the supernatural. He held an open wager that his Ki manipulation techniques were unbeatable by an MMA fighter for $5000. Well, you can see the results in the video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wd7M4H0b62k&feature=related

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    MikeMan wrote: »
    I don't see the Bible as a single unified narrative with only one clear and unambiguous meaning.

    Well then you should be able to answer this criticism by someone who seems to argue starting from the position that the Bible is entirely written in the single literary genre of fables:
    MikeMan wrote: »
    The problem with taking the Bible as a series of fables is that you then have no reason to believe the supernatural events in the Bible, including the resurrection and divinity of Christ. Whooooops there goes the entire reasoning behind being a Christian.

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  • SquigieSquigie Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Delzhand wrote: »
    I hear the whole "Revelation is a metaphor" thing, but aren't metaphors supposed to make sense on multiple levels? I can say "I travelled across the world on a green sheep, slew a dragon with my sword made from a star, and returned home with a glorious maiden" and tell people it's a metaphor because the green sheep is my car, the sword is a credit card, and the glorious maiden is a jug of milk, but that doesn't mean it makes any fucking sense.

    It makes perfect sense. You LARPed your trip to the store. That the fanciful imagery is exceptionally fanciful does not change the fact that the story makes sense when decoded.

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  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    MikeMan wrote: »
    I don't see the Bible as a single unified narrative with only one clear and unambiguous meaning.

    Well then you should be able to answer this criticism by someone who seems to argue starting from the position that the Bible is entirely written in the single literary genre of fables:
    MikeMan wrote: »
    The problem with taking the Bible as a series of fables is that you then have no reason to believe the supernatural events in the Bible, including the resurrection and divinity of Christ. Whooooops there goes the entire reasoning behind being a Christian.
    I'm saying that's a problem if you take it as a collection of fables, which some Christians profess to do.

    If you don't take it as a collection of fables, but as a mixture of fables and historical accounts and many other literary modes, the question becomes how do you distinguish between metaphor and history?

    HOW DO YOU FUCK UP BAGELS. YOU BOIL THE WATER. PUT IN THE NOODLES
  • ACSISACSIS Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    zerg rush wrote: »
    The problem comes when you try to use it as strong evidence that intelligently controlled breaches in the laws of physics occurred. That's when things just get silly.
    [...]
    Here's one of the Grand Master of the Kiai school of martial arts... in Ki manipulation. Much like Harold Camping, he believed his own claims of the supernatural. He held an open wager that his Ki manipulation techniques were unbeatable by an MMA fighter for $5000. Well, you can see the results in the video.

    I guess somebody got caught up in the illusion. But remember one thing: we have no idea what exactly the laws of physics are. Most likely we understand only a very small parts of it and in those very small parts are most likely a lot of misconceptions and errors. Thats why our model is subjected to constant change. Maybe the laws of physics itself are in constant change.

  • lonelyahavalonelyahava One day, I will be able to say to myself "I am beautiful and I am perfect just the way I am"Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    MikeMan wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    MikeMan wrote: »
    I don't see the Bible as a single unified narrative with only one clear and unambiguous meaning.

    Well then you should be able to answer this criticism by someone who seems to argue starting from the position that the Bible is entirely written in the single literary genre of fables:
    MikeMan wrote: »
    The problem with taking the Bible as a series of fables is that you then have no reason to believe the supernatural events in the Bible, including the resurrection and divinity of Christ. Whooooops there goes the entire reasoning behind being a Christian.
    I'm saying that's a problem if you take it as a collection of fables, which some Christians profess to do.

    If you don't take it as a collection of fables, but as a mixture of fables and historical accounts and many other literary modes, the question becomes how do you distinguish between metaphor and history?


    By studying it. By asking question. By exploring what you believe to be the meaning and then having discussion with other people about the meaning.

    By learning and educating yourself, the way you do with just about anything else that you want the answer to. You look for it.

    my example from the book of Esther earlier, is actually a historical story. There was a King of Persia with that name that i'm not going to attempt to spell out. There was a plot to kill all the Jews (shocking, I know). And the plot got stopped. Esther may or may not have been the linchpin, but she probably was instrumental in it. So you get a historical story with perhaps a bit of fancification put onto it.

    And you know the difference between history and a story by, and this is not directed to anybody in this discussion at all but more of a general observance, but you get there by not being stupid and by accepting that things are more complex than at face value.

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  • ArdolArdol Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    MikeMan wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    MikeMan wrote: »
    I don't see the Bible as a single unified narrative with only one clear and unambiguous meaning.

    Well then you should be able to answer this criticism by someone who seems to argue starting from the position that the Bible is entirely written in the single literary genre of fables:
    MikeMan wrote: »
    The problem with taking the Bible as a series of fables is that you then have no reason to believe the supernatural events in the Bible, including the resurrection and divinity of Christ. Whooooops there goes the entire reasoning behind being a Christian.
    I'm saying that's a problem if you take it as a collection of fables, which some Christians profess to do.

    If you don't take it as a collection of fables, but as a mixture of fables and historical accounts and many other literary modes, the question becomes how do you distinguish between metaphor and history?


    By studying it. By asking question. By exploring what you believe to be the meaning and then having discussion with other people about the meaning.

    By learning and educating yourself, the way you do with just about anything else that you want the answer to. You look for it.

    my example from the book of Esther earlier, is actually a historical story. There was a King of Persia with that name that i'm not going to attempt to spell out. There was a plot to kill all the Jews (shocking, I know). And the plot got stopped. Esther may or may not have been the linchpin, but she probably was instrumental in it. So you get a historical story with perhaps a bit of fancification put onto it.

    And you know the difference between history and a story by, and this is not directed to anybody in this discussion at all but more of a general observance, but you get there by not being stupid and by accepting that things are more complex than at face value.

    Interesting that you should use Esther as an example of an actual historical story what with the disagreement among scholars as to it's historicity due to the number of errors contained within. Personally I tend to favor the view that it was probably written as a historical novella.

    The fact that you plainly believe it to be an accurate story reinforces the point that in the end people believe that certain things are are fact and other stories are fables seemingly arbitrarily. Some people take most of the Bible as allegory and others take virtually the whole thing as fact. Camping seems to have a mostly fact/'small bits allegory to allow me to make predictions' type of view of it, but he's hardly alone. In my experience most Christians seem to have some mix as he does, but they differ in which parts they take as fact. It can mean the difference between 'women should be subservient' and 'everyone should be equal' or it can be reflected in the beliefs about stories which largely do not shape our view of the world (like Esther).

  • zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    So, if I understand you correctly lonelyahava, you're arguing that nothing in the bible lends credence to supernatural things actually occurring.


    I can get on board with the Bible being an item of literary worth. I just don't see how the interpretation angle lends any credence to the religion itself.

  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    MikeMan wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    MikeMan wrote: »
    I don't see the Bible as a single unified narrative with only one clear and unambiguous meaning.

    Well then you should be able to answer this criticism by someone who seems to argue starting from the position that the Bible is entirely written in the single literary genre of fables:
    MikeMan wrote: »
    The problem with taking the Bible as a series of fables is that you then have no reason to believe the supernatural events in the Bible, including the resurrection and divinity of Christ. Whooooops there goes the entire reasoning behind being a Christian.
    I'm saying that's a problem if you take it as a collection of fables, which some Christians profess to do.

    If you don't take it as a collection of fables, but as a mixture of fables and historical accounts and many other literary modes, the question becomes how do you distinguish between metaphor and history?


    By studying it. By asking question. By exploring what you believe to be the meaning and then having discussion with other people about the meaning.

    By learning and educating yourself, the way you do with just about anything else that you want the answer to. You look for it.

    my example from the book of Esther earlier, is actually a historical story. There was a King of Persia with that name that i'm not going to attempt to spell out. There was a plot to kill all the Jews (shocking, I know). And the plot got stopped. Esther may or may not have been the linchpin, but she probably was instrumental in it. So you get a historical story with perhaps a bit of fancification put onto it.

    And you know the difference between history and a story by, and this is not directed to anybody in this discussion at all but more of a general observance, but you get there by not being stupid and by accepting that things are more complex than at face value.
    I'm asking what criteria one uses to distinguish metaphor from historical occurrence. An example: the resurrection of Jesus. Is that a metaphor? Did it, instead, happen? If it's not one of those options, how should that story be understood?

    If there is controversy, what techniques does one use to resolve the controversy and analyze the story?

    If it is one of those options (metaphor or historical occurrence), which one do you choose, and why?

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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    zerg rush wrote: »
    So, if I understand you correctly lonelyahava, you're arguing that nothing in the bible lends credence to supernatural things actually occurring.


    I can get on board with the Bible being an item of literary worth. I just don't see how the interpretation angle lends any credence to the religion itself.
    I honestly don't see how you get that from lonelyahava's most recent post, which had nothing to do with miracles. But I'll give my answer to it.

    "Proving that miracles happen" is a contradiction in terms. It doesn't matter if you're using the Bible or another holy book or the recently-uncovered Dead Sea High-Definition Videotape of Jesus or if you built a time-machine and went to see them for yourself.

    A miracle is an event whose occurrence is, by definition, somewhere between exceedingly unlikely and completely impossible. The problem with proving that one happened is that any piece of evidence you consider can be explained using a more likely explanation. Any explanation you can come up with at all is more likely than a miracle happening, because a miracle is by definition exceedingly unlikely.

    Miracles recorded in books? More likely fabrications, or natural phenomena that were misunderstood and romanticized over time. Miracles on video? More likely a clever editing trick. Miracle being told to you by someone else? More likely they're lying, or were honestly fooled. Miracle happening in front of you? More likely a skilled illusionist.

    Miracles have to be accepted on faith, because anything at all is by definition more likely than them occurring.


    And to anticipate the inevitable caricaturisation of the previous line, I'll add that accepting some things on faith does not mean accepting everything on faith.

    And to anticipate the inevitable caricaturisation of the previous line, I'll add that accepting some things but not everything on faith does not mean randomly or arbitrarily picking what you accept on faith.

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  • zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    I honestly don't see how you get that from lonelyahava's most recent post, which had nothing to do with miracles.

    It has to do with viewing the Bible as a literary work rather than a factual, historical, literally true text.



    Like, if I read Lord of the Rings as a novel, understanding it as a text written by a man, I can appreciate it on that level. But understanding that it's just a bunch of words and not literally true means I won't worship the Ainur or the Maiar.

    Similarly if I believe that (for example) exodus was a total fabrication and existed only as metaphor, I'm not going to believe in the magical powers of Moses, or by proxy any of God's claims from that era.
    Spoiler:

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    zerg rush wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    I honestly don't see how you get that from lonelyahava's most recent post, which had nothing to do with miracles.

    It has to do with viewing the Bible as a literary work rather than a factual, historical, literally true text.



    Like, if I read Lord of the Rings as a novel, looking for allegory and metaphor I can appreciate it on that level. But understanding that it's just a bunch of words and not a novel means I won't worship the Ainur or the Maiar.

    Similarly if I believe that (for example) exodus was a total fabrication and existed only as metaphor, I'm not going to believe in the magical powers of Moses, or by proxy any of God's claims from that era.
    Spoiler:

    Again, I don't see how you're getting here from lonelyahava's post, which even cites Esther as an example of historical literature, i.e. a "historical story with perhaps a bit of fancification". That's very different from a "total fabrication and existed only as metaphor".

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  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Richy wrote: »
    Miracles have to be accepted on faith, because anything at all is by definition more likely than them occurring.
    And to anticipate the inevitable caricaturisation of the previous line, I'll add that accepting some things but not everything on faith does not mean randomly or arbitrarily picking what you accept on faith.

    It means picking what you accept on faith based on what you want to be true, not what is most reasonable to believe. The fact that you're, apparently, aware of what you're doing (I presume you to be a Christian) makes you a member of a very small percentage of believers.

    Being aware of believing in unreasonable things does not bolster your position. It does lead me to question how you retain your faith when it is, by your own admittance, constructing a model of reality based solely on "Gee that would be nice."

    Does that actually work for you? You're okay with believing in something because it would be really awesome if it were true?

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  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    MikeMan wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    MikeMan wrote: »
    I don't see the Bible as a single unified narrative with only one clear and unambiguous meaning.

    Well then you should be able to answer this criticism by someone who seems to argue starting from the position that the Bible is entirely written in the single literary genre of fables:
    MikeMan wrote: »
    The problem with taking the Bible as a series of fables is that you then have no reason to believe the supernatural events in the Bible, including the resurrection and divinity of Christ. Whooooops there goes the entire reasoning behind being a Christian.
    I'm saying that's a problem if you take it as a collection of fables, which some Christians profess to do.

    If you don't take it as a collection of fables, but as a mixture of fables and historical accounts and many other literary modes, the question becomes how do you distinguish between metaphor and history?


    By studying it. By asking question. By exploring what you believe to be the meaning and then having discussion with other people about the meaning.

    By learning and educating yourself, the way you do with just about anything else that you want the answer to. You look for it.

    my example from the book of Esther earlier, is actually a historical story. There was a King of Persia with that name that i'm not going to attempt to spell out. There was a plot to kill all the Jews (shocking, I know). And the plot got stopped. Esther may or may not have been the linchpin, but she probably was instrumental in it. So you get a historical story with perhaps a bit of fancification put onto it.

    And you know the difference between history and a story by, and this is not directed to anybody in this discussion at all but more of a general observance, but you get there by not being stupid and by accepting that things are more complex than at face value.

    Actually the book of Ester is a retelling of the story of Ishtar.

    It is not a historical story (at least, as presented within the Hebrew bible).

    Obviously the stories of Ishtar aren't historical EITHER, but Ester is removed from the chain by it use of the story of Ishtar.

    EDIT: I see I was beaten like a red-headed step child in pointing this out.

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  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited May 2011
    er, how is it a re-telling of Ishtar? Didn't she go down to the underworld, and then murder her boyfriend so that he had to take her place? She also stole the book of laws from her father and gave them to mankind. Trying to think of a story where she intervened on behalf of mankind (or her city) in a manner similar to Ester.

  • Apothe0sisApothe0sis Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    dojango wrote: »
    er, how is it a re-telling of Ishtar? Didn't she go down to the underworld, and then murder her boyfriend so that he had to take her place? She also stole the book of laws from her father and gave them to mankind. Trying to think of a story where she intervened on behalf of mankind (or her city) in a manner similar to Ester.

    Here's a quick explanation of how it works.

    http://www.shj.org/purim.htm

    The references are all in stupidly expensive scholarly texts.

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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Apothe0sis wrote: »
    dojango wrote: »
    er, how is it a re-telling of Ishtar? Didn't she go down to the underworld, and then murder her boyfriend so that he had to take her place? She also stole the book of laws from her father and gave them to mankind. Trying to think of a story where she intervened on behalf of mankind (or her city) in a manner similar to Ester.

    Here's a quick explanation of how it works.

    http://www.shj.org/purim.htm

    The references are all in stupidly expensive scholarly texts.

    I got my undergraduate degree in large part by studying those precise stupidly expensive scholarly texts. The webpage you linked to is silly goosery and doesn't, in fact, give any references. Funny, that.

    There is not one "story of Ishtar". There are plenty of myths about Ishtar, who was a Sumerian (and later Babylonian) goddess of, basically, fucking and killing. Esther is not Ishtar, no matter how alike they sound in English. The Jews would have thought of Ishtar as Astarte, not Ishtar (and there is a bunch of "don't worship this goddess, kthx" in the Bible which refers to her followers).

    There are plenty of analogs between Biblical stories and other myths of out Canaan and Mesopotamia, like the story of Atrahasis. But Esther ain't one of them.

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  • EnigEnig a.k.a. Ansatz Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    MikeMan wrote: »
    Does that actually work for you? You're okay with believing in something because it would be really awesome if it were true?
    That is pretty much the definition of "faith", as I understand it.

    I'm sure it is quite nice if you can manage it.

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  • lonelyahavalonelyahava One day, I will be able to say to myself "I am beautiful and I am perfect just the way I am"Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    zerg rush wrote: »
    So, if I understand you correctly lonelyahava, you're arguing that nothing in the bible lends credence to supernatural things actually occurring.


    I can get on board with the Bible being an item of literary worth. I just don't see how the interpretation angle lends any credence to the religion itself.

    Ok, ignoring the point of Esther for the moment and just taking a chance to answer this. Which might be tricky, as I'm out of practice with having to explain my faith as it's something that's just... It's my faith and my belief and I don't try to make it something for others to understand because well, they're not me.

    For me, reading the Bible (I have not completely read the NT and every time I try I get distracted by other Shineis far more intriguing. Like GRRM.) is one of reading a story. Pick a genre it's all there. Historical fiction, travel documentary, legal texts, stories of good vs evil, of propriety and sin. The Bible has just a little something for everybody, no matter what you're craving to read. How does the interpretation angle lend credence to the religion?

    Well, i'm not really sure what you're asking me there, but I'll do my best to explain it. Again, this is for me, and not the jews as a whole, as I can't speak for everybody and can only speak for myself.

    There is more to being Jewish than believing in God. There is holding to a moral code (the 10 commandments being a good start, watered down to 'don't be a dick, try to be moral in all things you do.'), there's a way of life that is codified in how a jewish child is raised (education is most important. Always ask questions and expect a proper answer. Be respectful to your Elders, they can teach you something. Don't be a dick.), and there's the knowledge given to you that no matter how badly off you are, no matter where you are, there is always the chance of finding help.

    You say the story of the Exodus and Moses having magic miracle powers is false, I say that while the story might not be the full truth, it's been passed down from generation to generation and has led to one of my favorite celebrations and holidays, Passover. The amount of ritual, tradition, and history in that first seder gives me a sense of belonging to something greater than myself. I will wrap myself in my tallis, sit at the dinner table with a bowl of Matzah ball soup and a piece of Matzah and feel even more myself than some people do sitting down to play D&D.

    There is a way of life to being Jewish. There's a way of looking at things that most people don't get, unless they are interested in heritage. My mother's family is from Wales and Scotland. I can wear the Lindsay, McGregor, and Black Watch Tartans because of my family history and heritage. My father's family is from Ukraine and Austria. It's to them that I owe my judaism.

    It's part of belonging to something bigger. Is there faith involved? Yes. Do I have to stretch and torture my faith around to make room for science? No. My faith is that I believe in God. Can a simple man perform miracles? Sure, why not. Do I have to see the empirical evidence that it was a miracle before believing? No. because if there was evidence, it would not be a miracle. does the lack of science in that bother me? Not at all. Doe the fact that science tries to tell me that what I believe in isn't possible? Nope. Science is good, it's necessary and it's most often correct. But if there's anything that science can teach us as people, it's that there are no absolutes. You can always add one more. There is no finite edge, you can always go further. Even if you can't really imagine it being the case, you can always add one. (Yes, I know that's probably not accurate in the slightest and I'm going to get yelled at by like, everybody, but let's just go with it for arguments sake).

    I think my point that I lost about 2 paragraphs ago was that it's not necessarily the interpretation itself that lends credence to anything (for myself), but that the interpretation has been handed down generation after generation after generation. It connects me to my parents and my grandparents and their grandparents on back. I belong to something bigger than myself. Is that a silly reason? To some people, probably. But it's a reason for me.

    So Esther may be Ishtar. So the story could be made up completely. Moses was a simple man who lived a normal life, or not. Elijah will not return to announce the coming of the messiah, there is no boiling river with an island in the middle where the ten tribes have lived for centuries. Elisha did not summon an army of bears to demolish a group of young children for making fun of him. Who cares?

    Is the Bible the word of God? No. Is it a set of guidelines given out by wise men over centuries of thought and arguing and more thought on how to try and live a life that makes you less of a dick? That's one way to look at it. But that's it. They're more like guidelines. And anybody that does read the bible as the literal truth tends to have a hard time realigning themselves with society.

    But I think I'm rambling (ok, so I am...), and I'm not sure if I answered your question...


    MikeMan, To be honest, I can't answer your specific question because I don't really know the story of the Resurrection. I mean, I know the overview, but I have not read it. Could it be possible? Sure, who's to say it couldn't. I vaguely remember a story once that the Gypsies believed themselves to be descendents from one of the men who nailed Jesus to the Crucifix, only he felt so bad about what he was doing that he instead killed a bug and that was the spot on the hand. Silly, but sometimes people tell silly stories.

    Juliet slept for three days while waiting for Romeo. Again, more fiction, but the idea for a potion that can do that comes from somewhere, right? And if Jesus was resurrected from the grave then good for him! But I can't speak on it myself as I don't know the story and I don't believe in it. I believe that jesus lived. I believe that he was a teacher, a philosopher, perhaps even a prophet. But I do not believe Jesus to be the messiah, or the son of god, or anything other than a simple man in the wrong place at the right time.


    I'll stop rambling now...

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  • GuekGuek Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    MikeMan wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    Miracles have to be accepted on faith, because anything at all is by definition more likely than them occurring.
    And to anticipate the inevitable caricaturisation of the previous line, I'll add that accepting some things but not everything on faith does not mean randomly or arbitrarily picking what you accept on faith.

    It means picking what you accept on faith based on what you want to be true, not what is most reasonable to believe. The fact that you're, apparently, aware of what you're doing (I presume you to be a Christian) makes you a member of a very small percentage of believers.

    Being aware of believing in unreasonable things does not bolster your position. It does lead me to question how you retain your faith when it is, by your own admittance, constructing a model of reality based solely on "Gee that would be nice."

    Does that actually work for you? You're okay with believing in something because it would be really awesome if it were true?

    I may have passed over it, but I don't recall anyone ever saying that they pick and choose their matters of faith solely on what's convenient. Those are your words that you're trying to shove down people's throats because that's your interpretation of faith.


    In my personal opinion, there are theists, moral atheists, and nihilistic atheists. The first two both ultimately live by faith. Theists believe that there is a good and it comes from a higher power. Moral atheists believe that men create what is good and what is evil. Both of these two live by a certain amount of faith, though the latter usually is unaware of it.

    A theist will claim that what is good is something that in unchangeable, intangible, and ultimately beyond complete comprehension. They pursue that good through the acknowledgment of their faith and the study of what it means to be good by questioning and testing their religious framework. Not all self proclaimed "theists" readily practice the humility and patience required to really test their faith and their understanding of good.

    Moral atheists believe that they create good through their actions and through basic human decency. But how is that not an act of faith? How is that not believing in something solely because "that would be nice?" If there is no universal baseline and all ethics are man made, then there is no such thing as a real definition for good, merely faith that good, which is not real, somehow exists through mankind. It is a complete state of delusion and contradiction built on blind faith.

    Nihilistic atheists at least I can respect because they recognize that there is no such thing as truth, only meaningless events. A nihilistic atheist could go out, run over a bunch of pedestrians, and perhaps feel remorse but understand that that remorse is meaningless and that they are deserving of punishment for their misdeed as much as a muffin is deserving of ire for being delicious. They aren't deserving of anything, because they just are.



    Now, I understand I've wandered far from the original argument over how to discern between historical and metaphorical passages in the Bible. That's missing the entire point though. The entire Bible is supposed to be metaphorical, it's just that some segments are rooted in some far off historical event. The historical accuracy of said events sometimes matter very little, and at times matter greatly. Determining how much importance you should place on the historical aspect of passages is dependent solely on your study and analysis of those passages and their metaphorical meanings. Does it matter if Jesus actually rose from the dead? Of course! That is a point of both great historical and metaphorical significance. Does it matter if the tower of Babel really existed? Well no, and it almost certainly didn't actually play out as the Bible describes. However, there is a separate level of significance that's understood as metaphor. Faith allows believers to study the Bible in search of truth because they believe that there is such a truth that exists that is worthy to be sought after. That faith is also what grounds believers in the reality that truth (or God) will never truly be understood but that you still have the ability to seek after it.

    There are problems for sure, and faith is always being tested, but faith has always been a matter of submission. This does not mean that believers should believe everything the Bible says regardless of contradictory evidence. Such problems should always be studied even further in order to understand their metaphysical implications. But that kind of approach is beyond comprehension for those that only seek empirical, tangible evidence as a basis for understanding.

    Alright, at this point I'll apologize for rambling. I suspect I really didn't make much sense. I'm super exhausted so I understand that my post is likely full of random, unrelated or poorly explained tid-bits of gunk. I also realize that it was probably a huge waste of time because I've come to understand that no one really ever approaches an internet debate on religion with the slightest intention of amending their own views.

  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    there are no absolutes.
    ...that is an absolute

    Thanks for sharing all of that. I think it's mostly silly, of course, but I wish more of the faithful took similar approaches. If it takes wizards 'n shit to get someone to understand "don't be a dick" is a pretty good idea... well so be it.

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  • lonelyahavalonelyahava One day, I will be able to say to myself "I am beautiful and I am perfect just the way I am"Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Bama wrote: »
    there are no absolutes.
    ...that is an absolute

    smartass. :P
    Thanks for sharing all of that. I think it's mostly silly, of course, but I wish more of the faithful took similar approaches. If it takes wizards 'n shit to get someone to understand "don't be a dick" is a pretty good idea... well so be it.

    let me ask you something? Do you know your family tree? and I'm not going to try and attack you on this, but I'm honestly curious. A lot of the self-proclaimed atheists/agnostics that I know come from families or upbringings where the family heritage isn't all that important. I'm kinda curious if that's a thing for real, or if it's just a quirk amongst people that I hang out with. I don't know my family tree all the way back to Moses, but I know where I came from, I'm not a typical American mongrel with too many histories to trace.

    it's an interesting thing for me, i wonder at times if my connection to my religion stems even stronger because of my connection to my heritage.

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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Moral atheists believe that they create good through their actions and through basic human decency. But how is that not an act of faith? How is that not believing in something solely because "that would be nice?" If there is no universal baseline and all ethics are man made, then there is no such thing as a real definition for good, merely faith that good, which is not real, somehow exists through mankind. It is a complete state of delusion and contradiction built on blind faith. .

    err, no

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  • EnigEnig a.k.a. Ansatz Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Bama wrote: »
    there are no absolutes.
    ...that is an absolute

    smartass. :P
    More importantly, God is an absolute. Science's acceptance of it's own limitations is what gives it a credibility that religion lacks (if you value that sort of honesty).

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  • KageraKagera Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    All I wanna know is if it's okay to fuck my daughters or not because I heard that was a thing in the bible.

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  • WolfprintWolfprint Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Guek wrote: »
    In my personal opinion, there are theists, moral atheists, and nihilistic atheists. The first two both ultimately live by faith. Theists believe that there is a good and it comes from a higher power. Moral atheists believe that men create what is good and what is evil. Both of these two live by a certain amount of faith, though the latter usually is unaware of it.

    A theist will claim that what is good is something that in unchangeable, intangible, and ultimately beyond complete comprehension. They pursue that good through the acknowledgment of their faith and the study of what it means to be good by questioning and testing their religious framework. Not all self proclaimed "theists" readily practice the humility and patience required to really test their faith and their understanding of good.

    Moral atheists believe that they create good through their actions and through basic human decency. But how is that not an act of faith? How is that not believing in something solely because "that would be nice?" If there is no universal baseline and all ethics are man made, then there is no such thing as a real definition for good, merely faith that good, which is not real, somehow exists through mankind. It is a complete state of delusion and contradiction built on blind faith.

    Nihilistic atheists at least I can respect because they recognize that there is no such thing as truth, only meaningless events. A nihilistic atheist could go out, run over a bunch of pedestrians, and perhaps feel remorse but understand that that remorse is meaningless and that they are deserving of punishment for their misdeed as much as a muffin is deserving of ire for being delicious. They aren't deserving of anything, because they just are.

    I am reading John Wilkinson's "No Argument for God" now, and while I am only three chapters in, I think he is arguing that "reason" is a human construct, and is as subject to faith as belief in the supernatural. It seems to me that, like Wilkinson, there has been an increasing number of apologetics who attack the fundamentals of the scientific method and a materialist worldview for being essentially a human paradigm (not entirely untrue), and that what we perceive as incredible is simply something outside this narrow paradigm we create for ourselves (possible). Although they do not answer the question of why then the Christian God should be accepted as the truth, and not Hinduism or animism for example, and what rubric they use to determine that it is "true".

    I think we get through life trusting to faith on many things. We have faith that our parents mean us well, that our friends are loyal and helpful, that there is goodness in this world and that evil will be punished. But that faith (or belief, or whatever you call it) is reinforced everyday through random minor acts that evince it. I am not sure I perceive God every day. Until the 'switch' is turned on I find it hard to believe in faith in supernature or godly beings.

  • SquigieSquigie Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Guek wrote: »
    [snip]

    Moral relativism and nihilism do not so much exist as they are labels one philosophy will often apply to opposing philosophies.

    This is not strictly in response to Guek, more a general comment on philosophical discussions.
    Enig wrote: »
    Bama wrote: »
    there are no absolutes.
    ...that is an absolute

    smartass. :P
    More importantly, God is an absolute. Science's acceptance of it's own limitations is what gives it a credibility that religion lacks (if you value that sort of honesty).

    However improbable, it is not impossible for religion to accept its own limitations, as demonstrated earlier by our friend lonelyahava.

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  • EnigEnig a.k.a. Ansatz Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Squigie wrote: »
    Enig wrote: »
    More importantly, God is an absolute. Science's acceptance of it's own limitations is what gives it a credibility that religion lacks (if you value that sort of honesty).

    However improbable, it is not impossible for religion to accept its own limitations, as demonstrated earlier by our friend lonelyahava.
    It is possible (and sometimes encouraged) for religious people to accept their own limitations.

    However, it would surprise me if very many religious groups are open to the idea that their fundamental belief (God) could be wrong. I would be tempted to say they aren't religious in that case.

    Edit: I'm not even sure what I'd call them then... agnostics in denial?

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  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Enig wrote: »
    Squigie wrote: »
    Enig wrote: »
    More importantly, God is an absolute. Science's acceptance of it's own limitations is what gives it a credibility that religion lacks (if you value that sort of honesty).

    However improbable, it is not impossible for religion to accept its own limitations, as demonstrated earlier by our friend lonelyahava.
    It is possible (and sometimes encouraged) for religious people to accept their own limitations.

    However, it would surprise me if very many religious groups are open to the idea that their fundamental belief (God) could be wrong. I would be tempted to say they aren't religious in that case.

    Edit: I'm not even sure what I'd call them then... agnostics in denial?

    Functional agnostics is probably the better term.

    I self-identify as an apathetic agnostic; I can't say that I feel firmly that there is NO god, but I also have no interest in arguing the strength of any one interpretation or assertion over another.

    Which is to say, I'm functionally atheist. I have no dogma to follow or ritual to hold stake in, and I don't feel that spirituality is in any way practical or relevant to one's day to day life, other than perhaps the acknowledgement that it's impractical and potentially harmful.

  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Enig wrote: »
    However, it would surprise me if very many religious groups are open to the idea that their fundamental belief (God) could be wrong. I would be tempted to say they aren't religious in that case.

    Edit: I'm not even sure what I'd call them then... agnostics in denial?

    You're using a type of Christianity as the model and definition of "religion" and insisting that anyone who doesn't fit that model isn't religious. Do you not see the problem with this? It assumes that all religions center their fundamental belief on faith in the existence or nonexistence of (a) God, like Christianity does, and therefore the less a religion maps to Christianity the more likely it is not to be a religion at all.

    (Although it is a very traditional argument. The Greeks once called the Jews atheoi because they were monotheists; they couldn't imagine not having a belief in all of them. Modern fundamentalist Christians are prone to referring to anyone not of their stripe as 'unbelievers', because belief in anything else is irrelevant.)

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  • BamaBama Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Thanks for sharing all of that. I think it's mostly silly, of course, but I wish more of the faithful took similar approaches. If it takes wizards 'n shit to get someone to understand "don't be a dick" is a pretty good idea... well so be it.

    let me ask you something? Do you know your family tree? and I'm not going to try and attack you on this, but I'm honestly curious. A lot of the self-proclaimed atheists/agnostics that I know come from families or upbringings where the family heritage isn't all that important. I'm kinda curious if that's a thing for real, or if it's just a quirk amongst people that I hang out with. I don't know my family tree all the way back to Moses, but I know where I came from, I'm not a typical American mongrel with too many histories to trace.

    it's an interesting thing for me, i wonder at times if my connection to my religion stems even stronger because of my connection to my heritage.
    I know the names of my grandparents, including my grandmothers' maiden names, and the parts of Europe where those surnames originated. That's about it.

    The social aspects of religion are important, and to some people I think they are the most important. Many people I grew up with have some sort of lingering identification with the religion they were raised in even though they aren't practicing. I guess to them it seems like ostracizing themselves unnecessarily when they can just as easily retain that nominal connection even if they don't buy into any of the stuff that separates the religion from secular philosophy.

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  • EnigEnig a.k.a. Ansatz Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I'm not saying that religions which differ from the Christian style are not valid as religions.

    My point was that for religions which hold their brand of truth (I used 'God' as an example) as an absolute (are there any that don't?), going on to admit that they might be wrong is not very religious of them. They are supposed to just take it on faith.

    But the key word there is absolute. As was pointed out previously, it is a general tenet of science that there are no absolutes. To some people that is a point in science's favor.

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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Enig wrote: »
    My point was that for religions which hold their brand of truth (I used 'God' as an example) as an absolute (are there any that don't?), going on to admit that they might be wrong is not very religious of them. They are supposed to just take it on faith.

    But the key word there is absolute. As was pointed out previously, it is a general tenet of science that there are no absolutes. To some people that is a point in science's favor.

    But that's not what you actually said. And now as you've rewritten in, it's not making a whole lot of sense. They're just supposed to take what on faith? The faith-based tenets of a faith-based religion? Isn't that kinda tautological?

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  • EnigEnig a.k.a. Ansatz Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    They're supposed to take it on faith that the truth claimed by their religion is, in fact, true.

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  • GuekGuek Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Enig wrote: »
    They're supposed to take it on faith that the truth claimed by their religion is, in fact, true.

    Yes but your supposition that people of faith aren't allowed to question, analyze, and try to further understand that truth is wrong.

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