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# Debate me about the bible

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### #21Lode  Members   -  Reputation: 958

Posted 29 May 2011 - 11:22 AM

A christian is person who is able to enjoy life as it comes.

A Christian is someone who follows the teachings of Christ.

You make it sound as if Jesus didn't enjoy his life.

Indeed, you'd think all that walking on water and creating wine must be pretty fun!

### #22 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 364

Posted 29 May 2011 - 11:24 AM

A christian is person who is able to enjoy life as it comes.

A Christian is someone who follows the teachings of Christ.

You make it sound as if Jesus didn't enjoy his life.

Indeed, you'd think all that walking on water and creating wine must be pretty fun!

You make it sound as if it wasn't!
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### #23LessBread  Moderators   -  Reputation: 1411

Posted 29 May 2011 - 11:32 AM

A. God didn't create Adam and Steve, it was Adam and Eve. People think sexual attraction is genetic? LMAO, but if it was then you simply would not be able to like Baseball if you were genetically born to like Football. People learn to like things by thinking, yes thoughts count. Add emotional attachment and confusion to it and you get homosexuals.

God didn't create Steve? Really? You can laugh at the idea that sexual orientation is genetic if you want, but your sports preference analogy is the really laughable idea. Do you realize the implications of your reasoning? You're saying that the only reason you're not gay is because you didn't grow up around gay people, just as you don't like cricket because you didn't grow up in Pakistan or India or in a place where people play cricket. Beyond that, your reasoning that people learn their sexual orientation by thinking about it suggests that maybe you're covering up for some religiously incorrect thoughts of your own and had to think yourself straight for fear of hell fire and damnation (or more likely fear of extreme social stigma and isolation). So when did you think yourself straight? Was it during puberty when your hormones raged?

B. They found Noah's Ark, The Ark of the Covenant, The parting place for the Red Sea, they found Mount Sinai where God gave the 10 Commandments, and they also found a lot of artifacts for ancient Jewish battles and communities. You need to do some research bro since your still a baby Christian.

They found Noah's Ark? Really? They found the Ark of the Covenant? I saw that movie too! Back when I was 13. I sat through it twice, it was so good!

A baby Christian? Seriously. Christianity doesn't deserve your arrogance. Heckuva sales job!

If you think I'm closed minded, well then you're the one with your head jammed into your butt.

I think you're close minded, no matter how much time you spend studying. Your silly sports preference reasoning exposes you. For all the studying you do, you should have been able to come up with a better argument than that.

"I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes." - the Laughing Man

### #24Yann L  Moderators   -  Reputation: 1794

Posted 29 May 2011 - 11:40 AM

Can't really say much on the topic, not being Christian nor knowing the Bible and all that, but I think that when a religion promises paradise by requiring the mindless following of some rigid dogma, then something is fundamentally wrong.

If you lead your life according to some basic and fundamental ethical guidelines, like not voluntarily harming others and trying to make this place a better place for all (within your possibilities), then a loving god is gladly going to accept you regardless of your beliefs, whether or not you read some old book or visited temples or churches. It's just basic logical reasoning. If you believe that our world was created by that god, then he must be a quite rational and logical thinking fellow.

### #25Lode  Members   -  Reputation: 958

Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:00 PM

A. God didn't create Adam and Steve, it was Adam and Eve. People think sexual attraction is genetic? LMAO, but if it was then you simply would not be able to like Baseball if you were genetically born to like Football. People learn to like things by thinking, yes thoughts count. Add emotional attachment and confusion to it and you get homosexuals.

Do you even know what the word "genetically" means? I mean, you literally believe that God created two people, called Adam and Eve, and then these two produced all the rest? Who knows what kind of warped vision about genetics such a believe gives, but apparently for one it doesn't take in-breeding into account!

Don't mix science and religion please, and use what is logically seen and measured to update your religious view if needed (there'll always be some unanswered mysteries so there's always room for some religion if you want to)

### #26Dave Astle  Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 2305

Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:04 PM

Can't really say much on the topic, not being Christian nor knowing the Bible and all that, but I think that when a religion promises paradise by requiring the mindless following of some rigid dogma, then something is fundamentally wrong.

If you lead your life according to some basic and fundamental ethical guidelines, like not voluntarily harming others and trying to make this place a better place for all (within your possibilities), then a loving god is gladly going to accept you regardless of your beliefs, whether or not you read some old book or visited temples or churches. It's just basic logical reasoning. If you believe that our world was created by that god, then he must be a quite rational and logical thinking fellow.

This pretty much exactly reflects my thoughts on the subject. After spending the first 36 years of my life as a practicing Mormon, and doing mental gymnastics to justify some of the inconsistencies in what I was being taught, I finally came to the conclusion that God would not have given me the capacity to reason, and then require that I suspend that in order to accept those teachings. I also came to the conclusion that if God does have some elaborate set of rules he wants us to follow, he's done a pretty piss poor job of communicating them to us, given the number and diversity of religions in the world.

### #27 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 364

Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:09 PM

I also came to the conclusion that if God does have some elaborate set of rules he wants us to follow, he's done a pretty piss poor job of communicating them to us, given the number and diversity of religions in the world.

The rules are there to make you realize you cannot follow them. All those rules became just "one" with the Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:56

56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.

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### #28way2lazy2care  Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 29 May 2011 - 12:11 PM

• Originally there was a lot of contradiction in the bible because it was written by humansThese contradictions were refractor-ed by a humans, specifically some committee of who's name I can't recall
If it wasn't for all of these refractor, more and more people will be aware of such contradiction and hence people will start to question and possible see the problems with the bible. Which could cause a tremendous loss in the business of selling bibles and spiritual objects

There aren't that many contradictions in the Bible, and purely as a historical document, it hasn't been changed very much at all from it's original versions to the versions we have today. I'm pretty sure the bible has the least variance of any document from a similar period.

Proof is antithetical to religious faith.

From my way of seeing this, you've got a few choices:

• Require proof. Some of the greatest thinkers through the millennia have put their intellects into this, and no definitive "proof" has so far emerged.

Isn't that kind of backwards? If proof is antithetical to religious faith (kind of the point of it being faith) it shouldn't matter the quality of the intellect trying to prove it. If we could prove the existence of God it would kind of go against the point anyway.

One thing to think about is why you are emotionally attached to the idea that the bible is true. If you were coming from a totally rational perspective, this would not be an issue.

Why does being rational have anything to do with emotions being or not being an issue. Why are you emotionally attached to your wife or significant other? Do you find it irrational? If so, does it being irrational make it any more or less important to you?

### #29D.Chhetri  Members   -  Reputation: 181

Posted 29 May 2011 - 04:44 PM

Thanks for all your guys help and responses. I've read and watched video's suggested, and as of right now, I'm still thinking things out. But I would for now like to cherry-pick some responses and respond to them.

@frob

Analogy time: A baby starts eating mother's milk, then gets weaned to mashed fruits and veggies, and slowly expands their diet to cover a full range of foods; you don't start by stuffing steak in a newborn's mouth. Next analogy: School children being with basic concepts and simple statements, gradually expanding in detail, depth, and nuance as the child's capacity to understand it increases; many times the concepts are incomplete or only partially true. You start a first grader on basic addition and subtraction, you hold off mathematical proofs of basic operations until number theory courses in college and have the capacity and background necessary to understand. And yet.... when science reveals that the food we give our babies is actually toxic and causes cancer, and new scientific theories completely destroy those currently being taught, what will people in the future think of our basic actions?

So too with how God would communicate to man. The recorded word says that God spoke with Moses, and Moses was shown the entire world from beginning to end. Do you suppose that Moses would understand the world as we see it today? Or that he would understand the world as it was seen in the 1400s? Or that he would understand the world as it was seen 2000 years ago? Or 4000 years ago? No, that isn't reasonable. Moses would have interpreted what he saw and experienced in terms he was familiar with. He would have recorded (or caused the scribes to record) his own interpretations of what he heard and saw. He could only process it in terms of what he already understood.

There are many things that we see and experience today that are completely outside the realm of understanding of people even a few decades before. How would you explain the Internet to those who have no concept of electronics just a century ago?

No I do not expect Moses( a human ) to comprehend how to world starts and ends. But actually, I didn't know that god showed moses how the entire world began and ended, mainly because I do not read the bible that much. But this statement implies determinism. That it is already determined how everything will start and end, so why then do we have free will, assuming we do have it in the first place.

Next up, the concept of literacy. Many of the people in Bible stories were illiterate. Many prophets and kings relied on scribes to record their words. Many stories were not immediately recorded at all, traveling through many people before getting recorded. Some, like the story of Job, were written in poetic form. Does that mean that they cease to be divinely inspired? I don't believe so. Instead, you must take that at its value and accomidate for it within your beliefs.

But that leaves the question just how much of it is real and attributed to god? Why should we believe this part versus others? It also leaves the possibility that all words in the scripture are wrong and falsely misinterpreted. If you defend that the bible is the scripture of god's disciples, then you cannot say that this part is from god and that isn't because it was or might have been misinterpreted. If you defend it, then you have to defend the whole thing.

You say they are fairy-tale like, and several are. I tell my own children stories of my own life and they enjoy them; I often start with "Once upon a time there was a little boy named Bryan, and one day he went out on an adventure..." These are stories of my life being recounted to my children, they are true to my memory, yet they are in fairy tale form. Would you say that immediately makes the story false? Would the life lessons I learned the hard way become less true simply because I use a format they enjoy? Does it harm the facts to reduce the story down to just those most relevant details expressed in a way they understand? I don't think so.

No I guess I didn't say it clearly, when I say fairy-tale like, I do not mean how it was presented, I mean the content of whats being presented. Obviously, you telling your kids your life experience in a nicely wrapped version doesn't imply your story to be false, because your story are explainable. The story presented in the bible( from my little readings), are claims made such that its hard to believe and naturally/scientifically unexplainable.

Are you saying that all miracles must be outside of a particular probability? Are you saying that miracles must lay completely outside of science? I don't see how that works. Why would we need to be surrounded by mighty miracles that defy description?

I see a world where we are surrounded by miracles. Does it seem far-fetched that world is filled with miracles, divine inspiration, and at the same time is utterly mundane? How many stories are there where a mother feels prompted to check on her child only to discover them in a life-threatening situation? Was that divine inspiration or just some pattern of subconscious thought, or perhaps both? How many stories are there where people were protected from harm and they attribute it to God, where it can just as easily be attributed to a chaos butterfly effect? A thing can have a perfectly mundane scientific explanation and still be a miracle. Even our modern science itself I attribute to miracles and inspiration. Is a premature baby spending six months in a NICU and ultimately turning out just as healthy as a full-term child any less a miracle simply because doctors employed machines while the family spent time a few rooms away in the hospital's chapel? I spent two summers working in a hospital and saw enough for myself; go visit a hospital and ask some friendly doctors and nurses if they believe in everyday miracles.

Combining these I take it as refuting this group of claims. I believe there is plenty of evidence that supports stories in the bible, and that while the stories were told by people with a different understanding and interpretation of the world, they still contain inspired truth, and that miracles are all around us if we care to open our eyes to them.

But the problem here is that your attributing miracles when some goods happen and saying when some good doesn't happen, its just bad luck. For example, two people are diagnosed with cancer. Both are christians, both families and supporters prayed heavily for them. In the end, one of them was cured, while the other died. Now your saying that the person that was cured, was a miracule, while the person that died just had bad luck. That doesn't constitutes as a miracle. You cannot simply say when something good happened, that it was a result of devine intervention and completely ignore the fact that the all other situation of similar kind that resulted in a bad was as bad luck. Thats just being ignorant.

The bible is not a single work. It is a compendium of a bunch of records that were kept in various languages, translated many times, consolidated, and more. Errors were made in copies. Errors were made in translations. There were many times that scholars collected multiple copies, compared the differences, and attempted to resolve errors between them, or gathered copies and attempted to translate them. Many records were left out because the scholars and clerics decided against it, perhaps through revelation and inspiration, or perhaps not. Many records were lost or destroyed, for reasons I'll let you ponder yourself. Perhaps records were added that should not have been, or omitted in error.

You use the term scholars, as if they are better than 'regular' folks. Just because they are scholars, doesn't make their opinion correct. What you said in the above statement, makes the bible seem even more controversial. If what you said above is true, then that makes me even more furious. It seems like the "scholars" are just trying to turn profit and hide the evidence.
[frustration](*&(&(&@&)(((*********::<~)(***(**(jnfkdjfbhkbar]]/frustration]

Personally, I want to say thank you frob for all your help. You have helped me tremendously in this forum.

@RedPin:Go Kick rocks, others have already pointed out the flaw and ignorance of your post. You are not a Heretic, but rather stubborn.

@owl

A christian is person who is able to enjoy life as it comes....

What you described there is not religion, but rather following some philosophy like

By Yann L:
If you lead your life according to some basic and fundamental ethical guidelines, like not voluntarily harming others and trying to make this place a better place for all (within your possibilities), then a loving god is gladly going to accept you regardless of your beliefs, whether or not you read some old book or visited temples or churches. It's just basic logical reasoning. If you believe that our world was created by that god, then he must be a quite rational and logical thinking fellow.

In the end, it ultimately comes to my decision, and I hope I can come to a resting conclusion that eases my mind. Until, then I'm screwed in the head.

regards, D.Chhetri
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### #30Fox89  Members   -  Reputation: 145

Posted 29 May 2011 - 05:32 PM

To the OP:

So in desperate help, I ask you to prove me false. I ask you to rebuttal each and everyone of these statements. My mind is going crazy these last few nights. The more I think about it rationally, the less I believe.

I agree with rip-off and some others on here. If you want to think rationally, then you're going to end up finding out that religion isn't for you. The Christian faith is like any other faith in the world. All your criticisms of Christianity are reasonable ones, and will inevitably lead you to the same conclusions myself and increasing numbers of people are finding. The most important one being: god is created by man, not the other way around. That's the only reasonable explanation for the myriads of religions throughout the world, the myriad of differing denominations within each of those religions, and the inconsistencies religious dogma always encounters with observable reality.

And there is nothing wrong with not believing in some deity, or a particular faith. In fact I applaud you for considering your faith logically (i assume you would currently describe yourself as religious as you said 'I am a confused Christian'). If you want to think rationally about such things, make sure you do so from an unbiased perspective, and don't just fall into the trap of trying to 'justify' what you already believe.

On the assumption that you still believe or feel compelled to believe in a god, one way or the other, then just remember that the nature of such a being means it is not something man can easily understand. What is recorded in the bible is the record of fallible men, even if it was recorded with the best of intentions. The pope will tell you that 'man can not understand God's ways' on one hand, and then claim to know how God wants you to live your life on the other. And why should you believe the Bible when the Qur'an says something different? Books are written by man. They are translated and edited by man over thousands of years. Councils and committees change the morals of a religion under the guise of divine inspiration; in order to more appropriately reflect the morality of the times and the surrounding culture; largely in order to attract members.

Most importantly, no religion or holy text or anyone else can tell you how to live a good life. You know how to behave well towards your fellow man, you don't need step by step instructions for it. All that's really left of any value beyond that is what waits for us beyond death. Personally, I'd suggest trying not to worry about that too much now, and concentrate on enjoying the one life you can be absolutely sure of

### #31d000hg  Members   -  Reputation: 688

Posted 29 May 2011 - 06:02 PM

Most importantly, no religion or holy text or anyone else can tell you how to live a good life.

Of course they can. Whether you agree or not is a different matter.

I think the OP would be better discussing with an expert on the subject, or reading a book on it, to at least get good answers. He can then decide if he likes those answers, but at least an 'official' answer lets you know where you stand.

### #32Roots  Members   -  Reputation: 657

Posted 29 May 2011 - 06:54 PM

@D.Chhetri

I'm a little burnt out at the moment on religious debates so I don't want to dive into yet another one, but I did want to refer you to a religious TV show where people of faith and atheists sit down and have (sometimes) productive discussions on the meaning of religion, the bible, etc. I have learned an enormous amount from the people who run this show (and the people who call in to the show) about religion, science, history, and so many more topics. If you're looking for someone to seriously debate you on the bible, these are the people to do it with. They are both knowledgeable about the bible (despite being non-believers) and respectful of others, so long as they are shown equal respect.

The Athiest Experience TV Show

Watching the entire shows (which run 60-90 minutes) can be a bit tiring and the topic and discussions are not always the greatest. I'd recommend you search youtube for "atheist experience" and you can find some of the best moments of the show in the clips there. Here's one in particular from February that is great.

Youtube - The Real Cost of Religious Faith

I've heard about the experiences of people like yourself that have called in to the show enough that I know you're going through a very delicate and confusing phase right now. The best advice I can give to you is to just continue studying, researching, and thinking for yourself. Don't let anyone else decide for you what is or is not true, especially if they don't offer any supporting evidence to their claims. Good luck in your journey and I hope whatever you end up deciding to believe, it makes your life better.

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A free, open-source 2D RPG in development.

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### #33ChurchSkiz  Members   -  Reputation: 432

Posted 29 May 2011 - 06:56 PM

So in desperate help, I ask you to prove me false. I ask you to rebuttal each and everyone of these statements. My mind is going crazy these last few nights. The more I think about it rationally, the less I believe.

regards, D.Chhetri

If you're looking for reaffirmation of your faith you posted this in about the worst forum on the internet. This board is pretty anti-theistic, I would even call it militantly atheistic at times. That being said, here's my take:

• Originally there was a lot of contradiction in the bible because it was written by humansThese contradictions were refractor-ed by a humans, specifically some committee of who's name I can't recall
If it wasn't for all of these refractor, more and more people will be aware of such contradiction and hence people will start to question and possible see the problems with the bible. Which could cause a tremendous loss in the business of selling bibles and spiritual objects

As far as your refactoring, I would disagree about it. There's been councils about what to include in "THE" Bible, and there has definitely been some manuscripts that are altered to fit a desire. However, almost every Bible I have seen reads like Wikipedia, where there are differences, they are clearly labelled and marked so you can research it farther for yourself. Great example is the last chapter of Mark , the footnote always reads (this is only in the Vulgate, does not appear before the 16th century, blah blah blah). There are more manuscripts of the Bible then any other ancient work, by far, by like a factor of 10,000 to 1. Every time they find an older manuscript, it is scrutinized and usually identical to your version today. The difference may be in how some versions interpret the actual physical words, but I'm not aware of any interpretations that "fix" any sort of contradiction, unless it's one of the "inspired" versions like The Message or something that was not meant to be an exact reproduction of the Bible. If you're aware of any specific examples please let me know, I'm personally not aware of any.

There are things in the bible, still, that regular people find disturbing, such as the topic of homosexual, or parsing men more important than women.
Really, if it was written by god's disciples, and were the words of god, then such discrimination shouldn't exist, because god is suppose to love everyone of every type.

The Bible is always written by a human person and every human has a cultural paradigm. I think you have to distinguish between what is a commandment from God and what is a cultural paradigm. I've never been to a church (I know they exist) that required women to cover their head, and yet I don't think they are going to hell over it. God makes it clear in Genesis that marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman, and yet he calls David (a guy with tons of wives and concubines) a man after his own heart. So to me it's clear he is less interested in cultural fads and more interested in people loving God and loving others.

I haven't done a good word study, it's probably the next big thing I do, but go here to this site: http://www.biblefood.com/7wrdsin.html . Sin doesn't mean direct defiance of God, most of the time it means "missing the mark". So to say homosexuality is a sin could be the same as saying drinking soda and eating oreos is a sin. And for the most part this is kind of my take on it. My object isn't to get people to stop overeating, or to stop binge drinking, or to stop having promiscuous sex, it's to show people a joyful life. And typically when one replaces those things that we think make us happy (which we all have in one form or another), with God, the other things kind of lose their appeal and people start living a happier life. Unfortunately, most christians make a big deal of certain cultural issues to the point of turning people away from a message of complete mercy and joy.

It also says that unless you follow him specifically, you will live eternity in hell? WTF!!! My family members are hindu, they are one of the best people that I know. My friend is not a believer in jesus, but possibly of a believer of there being a creator in general. He is one of the nicest and caring person that I know. Should he goto hell? For what? For some minuscule sins? So the bible is saying, I could kill thousands of people, and ask for forgiveness with all my heart and be truly sorry, and from there be the best person I can be, then I will goto heaven, but my friend who does nothing* wrong, tries to pleases people before him, will go to hell because he didn't believe in jesus in particular! Come on now, that does not sound like "god's words".

I guess it depends on what your definition of "hell" is. I always had kind of a CS Lewis "Great Divorce" type thought on hell, even before I read the book. My take on it is that hell (and heaven for that matter), is what you make of it. If you spend your life devoted to God (loving God and loving your neighbors), your life will be more joyous, and your heaven can start now on earth. If you're only concerned with yourself, then your hell starts now, and when you die you're essentially getting what you want, a life without God.

Now what form that takes I don't know. Is God going to take people who lived on a remoted island and never heard the name Jesus and throw them in a molten hot pool of magma for all eternity? I honestly don't know, but from what I know of his character, it doesn't really fit in. I recommend reading the Great Divorce, because it provides a setting for how heaven/hell could work.

I do know one thing though, if you genuinely don't like God, like if you literally hate the idea of someone who loves you and is benevolent, then spending all eternity in his unfettered presence isn't really a reward.

There is no type of evidence that supports the bible and anything in the bible
Most events declared in the bible are "fairy tale" like, and nothing supports their claims.Some events, were explained by science and thus was not a supernatural. It was an actual explainable event with some probability.

There's a lot of evidence that supports events in the Bible. There's not really any evidence in the miraculous. For example, there's definitely evidence that there was a battle of Jericho. No, there's no evidence that God handed them the victory on a silver platter. By nature this kind of thing doesn't really present "proof" as far as proof is concerned. Science explaining events doesn't necessarily discount spiritual miracles either. I for one, don't really care if God used an earthquake to stop the rivers of Jericho, but I would still call it a miracle given the fact that he timed it perfectly with the movement of his army.

I've personally witnessed things that if were cooincidence, were very improbable. I won't share them on this forum but if you're interested you can PM me and I'll share them with you.

<li>In factual sense, the bible is no more true than the Quran( the religious text of Islam) . The reason why many people believe this book than others is because they were brought up by it. When they were little, they had no intelligence to rebuttal and question the content of the bible deductively. And thus the result is that they take it true for granted from day one. Honestly, imagine you were a christian brought up with parents who believes hinduism. You would most likely believe this hinduism, especially if you were never able to leave india( assuming thats where you were born) which in turn would cause you to never find christianity with a high probability, because of their strict culture.

People believe in different things for a variety of different reasons. There are thousands of former Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, who grew up in one tradition and decided to follow Christianity for whatever reason. Likewise, there are people who grow up in a christian household and follow a different path. There are people who believe in what they believe because it is ingrained in them, and there are people who look critically at their beliefs and continue to maintain them. There are millions of christians in the world, not all of them are in the former group. Some in fact, are persecuted harshly for their beliefs and yet maintain that they are correct and true despite their hardships.

I will say this, that if you are looking for The Bible to strike you on the head and show you that it is the truth, it's not going to happen. Christianity is not about knowledge. If you believe the story, God didn't send his son to die for the iniquities of the world so that we could sit on our collective fat asses and just put together scientific proofs about how true it is. Christianity is about personal relationships. It's about the ability for us to have a relationship with God and to manifest that with love for other people. This is the power and the gift of christianity. To be honest I don't see much of a difference in the person who believes IN God and yet it has no impact on his life vs. the person who professes no faith. If you're just looking for brain affirmation that the Bible is or isn't true, but it doesn't effect your life, what does it matter? To me this is what the Bible is referring to when it talks about faith and works. If you're really faithful to God, in the real sense of being reliant and dependant, then you can't help but have your life changed to the point of it being noticeable. Faith in God is not the same as believing in a God. Faith is a watered down concept that has become a synonym for unproven belief in a concept. The greek words for faith have a much more important meaning to encompass ideas like adherence, trust, committment, like a child has faith in their parents

### #34way2lazy2care  Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 29 May 2011 - 07:32 PM

eating oreos is a sin.

### #35Khaiy  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

Posted 29 May 2011 - 08:23 PM

Here's my (somewhat meta-) take on your dilemma.

Your (and everyone else's) opinions on the content of the Bible, it's accuracy, consistency, meaning, manner of composition, and everything else that is discussed in this type of thread is irrelevant by necessity. The basic reason is that God (any Abrahamic conception, certainly) > man. By a lot. The following section assumes that God both exists and exists and at least roughly matches the common Judeo-Christian ideas of him.

One cannot independently assess God's actions, because He is infinitely greater, wiser, more powerful, etc. than you are. To posit that you, or any other imperfect mortal, can understand the motivations and actions of such a being are almost necessarily false, and is pretty much the greatest possible height of pride.

If there are passages of the Bible that are not consistent with others (and there are plenty, as has already been discussed), those inconsistencies could just as easily be attributed to God's design as a perfectly consistent narrative. The assumption that the information inside it is both 100% factually accurate and should be internally consistent makes sense to me if I'm going to base my life on it, but there's no particular reason that God needs to feel that way. If I don't or can't understand why God would act differently, that doesn't really matter. My understanding can't constrain an infinite and omnipotent being.

Any one person's understanding or interpretation of the Bible or anything else God-related has infinitely more to do with what that person thinks or imagines God to be than any correlation with reality. The same goes for anyone else's interpretations (that is, asking someone else what X religious curiosity isn't any more likely to be accurate than your own).

And if God either doesn't exist or doesn't exist in the Judeo-Christian mode, then any analysis or interpretations aren't theistically significant. They might happen to correspond to a different faith which happens to be true, or good ideas in their own right (and many of them are). But they won't be divine in the sense that believers tend to consider that they are.

So my point is that you shouldn't let your confusion ruin yourself or your faith. It's not an ultimate obstacle, but rather the proper (and humble) starting point for any religion. You aren't going to ever understand everything about your faith or God or anything like that, because you can't. If that causes you to feel that you can't participate in your religion as an active believer, then you'll know what you have to do. If you can live with it, then you'll be able to channel your faith through that knowledge and be better for it.

But no one can patch your beliefs for you if you no longer believe them, especially because they have the same existential fetters as you do. If you don't believe, you don't believe.

### #36ChaosEngine  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2112

Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:27 PM

One cannot independently assess God's actions, because He is infinitely greater, wiser, more powerful, etc. than you are. To posit that you, or any other imperfect mortal, can understand the motivations and actions of such a being are almost necessarily false, and is pretty much the greatest possible height of pride.

I've heard this argument so many times and each time I hear it I cringe. Last time was in this video where the subject compares us to pots of clay questioning the motives of the potter. But here's the thing, we're not pots of clay. We can think and reason. It might be fairly puny reasoning compared to some hypothetical omniscient deity, but it's still a world away from an inanimate object.

Let's assume that god is real, and he (directly or indirectly) caused humans to turn out roughly the way we are. We constantly hear how god granted us free will. Ok, if the gift of free will is so important, surely the ability to reason and more importantly to question is equally important. Otherwise we are simply exercising our free will based on faulty judgement.

The other argument I've heard is that we're like children compared to god, and children even though they are sentient must sometimes be made to do things they don't like for their own good. Fair enough, but if you parent a child in this way without explaining your actions, you're a bad parent. "Because I say so" is never a good response, not to a child and certainly not to an adult.

You say that to think we can understand gods actions are "the greatest possible height of pride"; on the contrary, I believe to not try to understand gods actions is the height of moral cowardice.
if you think programming is like sex, you probably haven't done much of either.-------------- - capn_midnight

### #37cowsarenotevil  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1932

Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:33 PM

Let's assume that god is real, and he (directly or indirectly) caused humans to turn out roughly the way we are. We constantly hear how god granted us free will. Ok, if the gift of free will is so important, surely the ability to reason and more importantly to question is equally important. Otherwise we are simply exercising our free will based on faulty judgement.

Not only did God endow us with these qualities, he created us in his image.
-~-The Cow of Darkness-~-

### #38alnite  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2038

Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:43 PM

You don't need the Bible to believe in God.

God does not need the Bible to prove Its existence.

God and the Bible are two separate things. To illustrate this point, let's talk about Elvis. Elvis was a superstar. He was famous, and people adore him. Then he died. People have been imitating Elvis since then. They made movies about Elvis. They wrote stories about him. Do those stories define Elvis? Do you think by reading/watching/listening to tales of Elvis will make you understand Elvis? Do you think those stories will make you see through Elvis and understand all about him? Obviously not. Even if he was still alive, you still wouldn't understand him, because he's a person, he's just as complex as you are.

Now, we are not talking about a person, we are talking about...God. If all great minds collectively write stories about God trying to define God, they still would only capture a fraction of God.

So, who cares if Bible is true or not and how it was translated. Who cares if the original transcript was "virgin" or "young girl". The foundation of your faith should not be the Bible.

### #39Tachikoma  Members   -  Reputation: 548

Posted 29 May 2011 - 10:34 PM


10: The bible infallible, because it is the word of god;

20: It is the word of god, because the bible says so;

30: Believe in the bible, because it is infallible;

40: goto 10;



Latest project: Sideways Racing on the iPad

### #40Khaiy  Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

Posted 29 May 2011 - 10:48 PM

One cannot independently assess God's actions, because He is infinitely greater, wiser, more powerful, etc. than you are. To posit that you, or any other imperfect mortal, can understand the motivations and actions of such a being are almost necessarily false, and is pretty much the greatest possible height of pride.

I've heard this argument so many times and each time I hear it I cringe. Last time was in this video where the subject compares us to pots of clay questioning the motives of the potter. But here's the thing, we're not pots of clay. We can think and reason. It might be fairly puny reasoning compared to some hypothetical omniscient deity, but it's still a world away from an inanimate object.

Let's assume that god is real, and he (directly or indirectly) caused humans to turn out roughly the way we are. We constantly hear how god granted us free will. Ok, if the gift of free will is so important, surely the ability to reason and more importantly to question is equally important. Otherwise we are simply exercising our free will based on faulty judgement.

The other argument I've heard is that we're like children compared to god, and children even though they are sentient must sometimes be made to do things they don't like for their own good. Fair enough, but if you parent a child in this way without explaining your actions, you're a bad parent. "Because I say so" is never a good response, not to a child and certainly not to an adult.

You say that to think we can understand gods actions are "the greatest possible height of pride"; on the contrary, I believe to not try to understand gods actions is the height of moral cowardice.

I never said that we were pots of clay, or inanimate or any such thing, so we can let that go.

I'll agree that the abilities to question and reason are important; in fact, I think that those are the very things that make us human, and are the proper behaviors of mankind (I'm non-religious, by the way). But the idea that the exercise of free will is necessarily good because our ability to reason is inherently good I don't agree with. Some people reason badly, and so they do in fact exercise their free will based on faulty judgement. The ability to reason in no way dictates or even suggests that your reasoning will be good or correct.

And explain stuff to your kids all you want. I agree that that's an important thing to do for a lot of reasons. But you don't sit a toddler down and explain the dangers of drowning to him or her. You keep the kid away from the water, or you supervise them pretty minutely to keep them safe. You don't trust a toddler's free will to combine with their reasoning abilities to equal safety.

But the gap between children and adults is not very similar to that between god and anything else. "Because I say so" is a cop out for a parent, even if the child fails to understand the reasons for actions regardless of effort. But the rules for the omnipotent creator of the universe are going to be a bit different than for me talking to my kid.

As I said above, I think that the ability to think and reason are the pinnacle of humanity. If you believe in god (as large an assumption as anything else), then go ahead and speculate as much as you can. It'll be good for you, and worlds better than not bothering to do so. But to think that you will reach the objectively correct conclusions is as hubristic as you can get. And that means that certitude is never going to be part of the equation for you in theistic reasoning.

Let's assume that god is real, and he (directly or indirectly) caused humans to turn out roughly the way we are. We constantly hear how god granted us free will. Ok, if the gift of free will is so important, surely the ability to reason and more importantly to question is equally important. Otherwise we are simply exercising our free will based on faulty judgement.

Not only did God endow us with these qualities, he created us in his image.

...which means what, exactly? I could trot out the standard replies (so does god have two kinds of genitals?), but the statement itself is subject to my critique. Regardless of how literally you take the Bible, or how strongly you believe that it is a faithful transcription of the Word of God (in the sense that you don't think it was diluted by human misunderstanding, translation, etc.), you are still making tremendous assumptions about what that line means and what the implications of it are.

Is it a physical thing only? Is it the capacity for love and goodness? It's certainly not power or wisdom or knowledge. Per the creation story, god didn't create mankind with the ability to know good from evil, which is arguably one of the more important strands of theology. It's definitely going to be the cornerstone or moral reasoning.

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