The Last Time I Read the Bible...

DerKlempner
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The Last Time I Read the Bible...

 The last time I read the bible (about 15 years ago, I believe, when I stole a copy from a bookstore to read; I figured it was supreme irony) it made complete sense to me whenever I substituted the word "alien" for "Jesus" and the word "spaceship" for "God".

Anyone else have any similar stories?

If "God" created man in his image, then why aren't YOU omniscient and omnipresent?

Sci-Fi Bible: Replace the words "Jesus" and "God" with "alien" and "spaceship", respectively. Isaac Asimov couldn't write a better story.


Jeffrick
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For me....

 

 

 

                 I went to a catholic school for my first four years. The nuns would read us storys from the bible at catachisim time then at reading and English time periods we read Dick & Jane and Tales of the Brothers Grimm,  I just lumped them all in together as fairy tales and fiction.  I would be 10 or 11 when I understood what  an atheist was by age 14 I am a pure atheist and not shy about it in the least.

 

 

                  I got my bible from a motel room in Bar Harbor Maine, it makes a good reference.  I think everyone should read the bible at least once, we need more atheists and nothing will get you there faster then reading the bible.

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VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

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Beyond Saving
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 The first time I actually

 The first time I actually read the bible cover to cover was after I got married and promised my wife I would read it. We started reading it out loud together but I was laughing so hard at the absurdity of Genesis, she made me read the rest of it on my own. By the time I was finished with it and we talked about it every night, she was no longer Christian, it took a few more years before she became an atheist. 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


Tumbles
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Not really...

 Reading the Bible in the unsophisticated and childish manner of fundamentalist Christians will quickly lead to atheism (or a vigorous denial of reality), but it's important to note that, while that group is the most vocal, there are other methods of treating the book. Biblical 'contradictions' or factual errors are really irrelevant to how theologically developed Christianity reads it. 

We have the understanding of God as outside of space and time (obviously by necessity), generally unknowable and more of a transcendental 'more' than the any kind of anthropomorphic being as the one that would exist in the literal Bible. Jesus is generally considered to be a manifestation of what a holy and good life looks like - what living for this 'more' is supposed to be. He is the model that is supposed to be emulated. The rest of the text is understood (or ignored, as the case may be) in this light.

There are numerous failings in Christianity (and don't take me for a Christian; I'm atheist) - one of the more obvious being the scientifically "compatible," unknowable power which sounds strangely like deism until they claim to know the attributes of this power... but to think that the religion is about believing snakes can talk, the Bible is supposed to be perfect, or that creation took 7 literal days is merely the packaging of Christianity into a convenient, and very easy to attack, box while ignoring modern understandings of it. While there are definitely sects and styles of the religion that can be disregarded by this type of Biblical analysis, to say reading the Bible turns one into an atheist is to have a very simplistic understanding of the faith you are critiquing.


Atheistextremist
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Hi Tumbles - I don't think

 

Tumbles wrote:

 Reading the Bible in the unsophisticated and childish manner of fundamentalist Christians will quickly lead to atheism (or a vigorous denial of reality), but it's important to note that, while that group is the most vocal, there are other methods of treating the book. Biblical 'contradictions' or factual errors are really irrelevant to how theologically developed Christianity reads it. 

We have the understanding of God as outside of space and time (obviously by necessity), generally unknowable and more of a transcendental 'more' than the any kind of anthropomorphic being as the one that would exist in the literal Bible. Jesus is generally considered to be a manifestation of what a holy and good life looks like - what living for this 'more' is supposed to be. He is the model that is supposed to be emulated. The rest of the text is understood (or ignored, as the case may be) in this light.

There are numerous failings in Christianity (and don't take me for a Christian; I'm atheist) - one of the more obvious being the scientifically "compatible," unknowable power which sounds strangely like deism until they claim to know the attributes of this power... but to think that the religion is about believing snakes can talk, the Bible is supposed to be perfect, or that creation took 7 literal days is merely the packaging of Christianity into a convenient, and very easy to attack, box while ignoring modern understandings of it. While there are definitely sects and styles of the religion that can be disregarded by this type of Biblical analysis, to say reading the Bible turns one into an atheist is to have a very simplistic understanding of the faith you are critiquing.

 

I can agree that somehow the modern metaphysical interpretation of god which involves assuming his existence outside of our space time represents a better version of the business. Supposing anything outside of our current scope of understanding is completely baseless, so while this may be a more sophisticated level of bullshit, the fundamentals have not changed. The theist can believe in a snake or believe in some personality whose central tenet is unknowability. In either case they are indulging in wishful thinking.

I think the bible does turn you into atheist and at any level. Complex metaphysical and epistemological arguments don't help tho' I grant you they increase the complexity of the talk and in diving into the unknowable they become harder to refute. Who knows what exists outside the universe? Supposedly there are hot spots at the edges of the universe which indicate concussion with other universes. But perhaps, after all, they are the imprint of god on hands and knees playing with his titanic train set.

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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A "God is outside space and

A "God is outside space and time" can neither be proved or disproved, and cannot be known with any certainty whatever.

Even if we take all the miracles and manifestations in the Bible at face value, they would only prove something mysterious and way beyond ordinary experience had happened, not that their must be a God-like creature involved, or that Jesus was a manifestation of such an entity.


The assumption that whatever force or entity gave rise to our universe MUST be sentient is not logically demonstrable, nor are any of the normally considered Divine attributes of this being, ie, 'infinite', omnipotent, omniscient, or even 'good' or 'merciful' The evidence from the history of the world is that if there is such a being involved in the events of this world, then it is malevolent, or at least a 'prankster', playing with us for his own amusement.

What we see in the 'proper' reading of the bible are all the involved and detailed assumptions and special interpretations and arguments that are necessary to justify all the naked assumptions about God in the face of what appears to be, at a simple honest reading, a confused and inconsistent collection of myths and stories and superstitious injunctions and taboos.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


harleysportster
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DerKlempner wrote: The last

DerKlempner wrote:

 The last time I read the bible (about 15 years ago, I believe, when I stole a copy from a bookstore to read; I figured it was supreme irony) it made complete sense to me whenever I substituted the word "alien" for "Jesus" and the word "spaceship" for "God".

Anyone else have any similar stories?

When I was a child, I was often instructed to read the Bible. Often times, the instructions were only for specific books and scriptures.My family had their favorite books and gospels and never really liked discussing much outside of them.

 It also seemed that everyone in church had a favorite book or a favorite scripture and ignored anything that conflicted with it.

I encountered people in my church that could prove any number of political and moral convictions via the Bible and would grow very angry if someone pointed to another section that contradicted it.

The odd commonality among everyone in my church was the insistence that the Bible never contradicts itself once.

Which was impossible to accept when I used to try and read the damned thing from cover to cover. But no one ever had any answers why the infallible word of god seemed to be this way.

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Tumbles
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BobSpence1 wrote:A "God is

BobSpence1 wrote:

A "God is outside space and time" can neither be proved or disproved, and cannot be known with any certainty whatever.

Even if we take all the miracles and manifestations in the Bible at face value, they would only prove something mysterious and way beyond ordinary experience had happened, not that their must be a God-like creature involved, or that Jesus was a manifestation of such an entity.

 

The assumption that whatever force or entity gave rise to our universe MUST be sentient is not logically demonstrable, nor are any of the normally considered Divine attributes of this being, ie, 'infinite', omnipotent, omniscient, or even 'good' or 'merciful' The evidence from the history of the world is that if there is such a being involved in the events of this world, then it is malevolent, or at least a 'prankster', playing with us for his own amusement.

What we see in the 'proper' reading of the bible are all the involved and detailed assumptions and special interpretations and arguments that are necessary to justify all the naked assumptions about God in the face of what appears to be, at a simple honest reading, a confused and inconsistent collection of myths and stories and superstitious injunctions and taboos.

 

I agree with this. I was merely pointing out that the "simple honest reading" isn't all that common in modern Christianity.


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My main issue with the more

My main issue with the more complex arguments is they universally boil down to excuses.  None of them are anything you'd get if you weren't desperate to defend a precursor belief at all costs.

 

The reasoning doesn't go, "What created the universe->unknowable, undefinable deity" it goes, "God created the universe->justify belief after all falsifiable claims are falsified->unknowable, undefinable deity"

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.