Question for the "Faithfull" Or thiest's or whoever believes in the bible

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Question for the "Faithfull" Or thiest's or whoever believes in the bible

 

Hopefully this is the right place for this post.  

 

This question is for those here who believe the bible is "Gods Word"

 

Question = Why Have you not Cut out your eye's and cut off your hands ? If it truly is the word of god why have you failed to fullfill your lords wishes ?

 

  "Jesus recommends that to avoid sin we cut off our hands and pluck out our eyes. This advice is given immediately after he says that anyone who looks with lust at any women commits adultery. 5:29-30"

Full Bible Quotes.

Mathew 5

"5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." 

 

Source of my question

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/short.html 

 

 


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Jesus is saying that we

Jesus is saying that we must avoid those near occassions of sin or temptation, regardless of how near and dear they are, or how necessary that seem to us to be. 

It's called metaphor.  We use it in language all the time.  For example, if I were to say,"Go piss up a rope", would you drop everyhting you're doing to go find a rope?

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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totus_tuus wrote: Jesus is

totus_tuus wrote:

Jesus is saying that we must avoid those near occassions of sin or temptation, regardless of how near and dear they are, or how necessary that seem to us to be.

It's called metaphor. We use it in language all the time. For example, if I were to say,"Go piss up a rope", would you drop everyhting you're doing to go find a rope?

 

Here's another metaphor for you to consider:  Cherry picking

 

 


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HC Grindon

HC Grindon wrote:
totus_tuus wrote:

Jesus is saying that we must avoid those near occassions of sin or temptation, regardless of how near and dear they are, or how necessary that seem to us to be.

It's called metaphor. We use it in language all the time. For example, if I were to say,"Go piss up a rope", would you drop everyhting you're doing to go find a rope?

 

Here's another metaphor for you to consider: Cherry picking

Example of Cherry Picking: The opening post.

 

 


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While I can't remember

While I can't remember chapter and verse, why didn't Jesus tell the woman at the well, or theadultress he savedfrom stoning to go at once to have a female circumcision done?

Peter, who knew the teachings of Jesus better than any other, doesn't cut out his tongue after he denies Christ.

Jesus forgives a multitude of sins in the Gospels, but never enforces a literal interpretation of this saying, a pretty clear indicator it's a metaphrical, not a literal teaching.

How's them cherries?

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Everybody who's responded

Everybody who's responded is a veteran here.  Can we just skip the song and dance and get to the real question?

Theists:  By what measure do you decide which parts of the bible are meant to be taken literally and which are to be interpretted as metaphor?

If you are allowed to decide arbitrarily that cutting off one's hand is not really necessary, I am allowed to decide that heaven and hell are metaphors for happiness or unhappiness on this, the only life I am to receive.  I can also decide that "belief in Jesus as the Only Begotten Son of The One True God of the Universe as the only path to salvation" is a metaphor for belief in myself, since clearly I am the only being of whose existence I can have 100% certainty.

For that matter, I can decide that "God" is a metaphor for my own conscience, and that I have only myself to answer to.

Please, theists, prove me wrong objectively using only the bible as a reference.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Everybody who's responded is a veteran here. Can we just skip the song and dance and get to the real question?

Theists: By what measure do you decide which parts of the bible are meant to be taken literally and which are to be interpretted as metaphor?

If you are allowed to decide arbitrarily that cutting off one's hand is not really necessary, I am allowed to decide that heaven and hell are metaphors for happiness or unhappiness on this, the only life I am to receive. I can also decide that "belief in Jesus as the Only Begotten Son of The One True God of the Universe as the only path to salvation" is a metaphor for belief in myself, since clearly I am the only being of whose existence I can have 100% certainty.

For that matter, I can decide that "God" is a metaphor for my own conscience, and that I have only myself to answer to.

Please, theists, prove me wrong objectively using only the bible as a reference.

 

Back to this unresolvable conundrum.  I don't know that the bible  is useful as a reference for objective proof. I tend to agree with you that it can be interpreted in whatever manner the reader chooses. So the opening poster should first find somebody that believes the quoted passage is literal and then ask why they still have their hands and eyes.

 

I see this passage as a mtaphor. To see the "kindom of heaven" (find peace, bliss, whatever,) we must deny the flesh. In modern terms it means to me simply not to let our lives be governed by "the flesh" but rather our higher nature (rationality?) 

 


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Quote: Back to this

Quote:
Back to this unresolvable conundrum.

Bah.  It's not unresolvable at all.  I'd suggest that it's completely resolved, but there are those who are unhappy with the outcome.  Assuming everyone who wrote the bible believed every word of what they wrote, it boils down to this:

* Bronze age man was scared of thunder.

* A Jewish tart lied about getting knocked up.

* Some vagabonds did way too many drugs, and one of them got strung up on a tree for acting stupid.  Cursing a fig tree for not being in season... what a moron.  Talking shit about overthrowing the Romans... bad idea.

* A sexually repressed Roman with a penchant for writing had a bad experience with heat exhaustion and turned it into a religion.

Any attempt to take the bible literally forces one to explain the physically and logically impossible events depicted.  Without this explanation, everything in the bible must logically be taken as not only suspect, but unproven until proven.

 

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Hambydammit wrote: Any

Hambydammit wrote:

Any attempt to take the bible literally forces one to explain the physically and logically impossible events depicted. Without this explanation, everything in the bible must logically be taken as not only suspect, but unproven until proven.

Huh? I thought the question was which parts of the bible are literal and which are metaphorical. Clearly, taking the entire contents of the bible as literal is madness. But some things seem rather straight foward. "Thou shalt not steal" seems like a pretty literal thing. 


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Please explain this to me,

Please explain this to me, then.

"If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out" and "Thou shalt not steal" seem equally unequivocable. Is there an objective measure by which you decide that one is literal and the other is metaphorical, or do you just go by what "feels" right. If you go by what feels right, how can there be any objectivity, since clearly (as evidenced by the over 20,000 Christian denominations) people have widely varying feelings.

 [edite:  Remember, the Creation Museum in Kentucky is evidence that not everyone agrees on what is ludicrous!]

 

 

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I don't believe there is a

I don't believe there is a fully objective standard that would tell us passage A is literal while passage B is metaphorical. On the other hand, "what feels right" is pretty damn shallow. The bible is not a text book written against a body of empirically derived evidence. And even I have some standard which I apply when deciding what might be literal or not. Things that obviously contradict reality as I perceive it are either metaphorical or mythical. Things that contradict common sense (like plucking out your eye) fall into a grey area. My spin on it is that most of what Jesus said was either in the form of parables or taking about some "spiritual" matter. Analogs to the material world were used to illustrate something not necessarily materialistic. The bible will never be logically consistent. So while there is no objective measure for deciding metaphor or literal, I think it can be approached with a certain amount of intellectual honesty. I think the promary (and valid) objection that atheists have is that claiming the bible is "absolute truth" forces those that believe this into an intellectually dishonest position. Which in turn leads to arbitrary compartmentalization of internal contradictions.


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wavefreak wrote: Huh? I

wavefreak wrote:

Huh? I thought the question was which parts of the bible are literal and which are metaphorical. Clearly, taking the entire contents of the bible as literal is madness. But some things seem rather straight foward. "Thou shalt not steal" seems like a pretty literal thing.

So Thou shalt not steal Isn't  metaphoric ? Ok..

How about . "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." 22:18

In reality the true question is Why do you "Believers" Cherry pick from a socalled holly book. THE WORD OF GOD !!

If it truely is the word of god why cherry pick? And yes i cherry picked but then again i do not make the claim that the bible is THE WORD OF GOD !!...........

If i truely believed that the bible was THE WORD OF GOD.. I would follow it to the letter. Why ? Because if it was THE WORD OF GOD not following his word would result in going to hell/death etc..

The arguement that Some passages in the bible are "metaphorical" and some are not based upon MAN's interpretations doesn't hold any water. 

Case in point .. The bible says that the earth is the center and everything rotates around it (Loose translation) And for thousands of years Believers believed this. People were KILLED in the name of GOD for questioning this. It was not untill just recent history the church FINALY admited they were wrong about this .

So..........It seems it is perfectly moral for a believer in the bible to kill his fellow mankind if they do not believe the same things he does.   

It basicaly comes down to (I know im restating the question) If the Bible is THE WORD OF GOD why cherry pick ? Seriusly i just don't get it.. Ether you believe it is THE WORD OF GOD or you don't you can't say well i believe in this passage and that passage but not that passage right under them. Well you can.. But noone will take you seriusly .

 

Confused.................... 

 


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dave805 wrote: But noone

dave805 wrote:

But noone will take you seriusly .

 

Confused....................

 

 

I really doubt that you are confused. You feign confusion as a rhetorical device.

And you are wrong. There are plenty of people that take it seriously.

Also, I do not believe the bible is the unvarnished word of god. 

 


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First, you have to take the

First, you have to take the Bible in totaity, not verse by verse.  In this case, we see from examples of Jesus' dealing with sinners.  He doesn't  tell the adultresses he encounters, "Your sins are forgiven, but just to be sure, go see that doctor and have a female circumcision done just to be sure yu don't do it again"  Nor does he tell Zaccheus, "I know you're a penitent tax ollecor, and your greed is forgiven you, but let's get Peter's sword and lop yur arms off just to be sure."

Sola scriptura and the individual interpretation of Scritures are the greatest theological disasters to emerge from the Reformation.  Scripture itself tells us so.  When, in Acts 8, Philip encounters the Ethiopian eunuch studying Isaiah and asks the eunuch if he understands wht he's reading, to which the Eunuch replies, "How can I with no one to teach me?".  

Peter addresses this issue as well in the third chapter of his second letter.

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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I suppose my question on

I suppose my question on this issue would be:

Which teacher's interpretation of an imperfect book transcribed by imperfect people from an allegedly perfect being's words is the one true interpretation?

Or must I wear rose-colored jesus glasses that edit out things like slaughtering pigs with evil spirits and marital advice from an unmarried ne'er do well?

Why must I trust the counsel on interpersonal relationships from men who were betrayed by their friends and followers?

I will certainly agree that there are many places where parables are to be metaphorically applied. However, that does not excuse the specific one mentioned by the OP. 

I'm afraid that the usage and depiction of these violent acts in the parables does lend credence to the arguments presented.

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This is probably my biggest

This is probably my biggest beef with regard to religion.  It's the text.  If it's the word of god then why is it so convoluted and metaphor strewn?  I would have thought that in order to get the message across to as many people as possible it would have been written so that those with even a poor grasp of reading would have been able to understand it's meaning and the meaning be so crystal clear that those doing the reading could not read it any other way. Thout shalt not steal being a good example.

 It's not surprising that because we now live in a mainly literate world that we can read the texts and see how easily it was to dupe the masses.  After all an illiterate man cannot argue against the text and it's interpretation with someone who can read it.  "klfri\pkkperrhgkbnas" can mean anything I like if the person I'm speaking to can't read.

 Whilst I accept that story and metaphor are a good way to entertain people and get meaning across, after all this was the only way to communicate to the uneducated, it isn't a good way of keeping continuity so these stories will become confused, misinterpreted etc as they are passed on. 

It's only once they are written down and then deciphered by multitudes can the meaning be found, however, by that stage it's too late because the story has become distorted most likely through a bit of embellishment.  It's not hard to see the equivalent of  computer generated special effects 1st century style in the bible's stories.

 Couple this with (mis) translation, council of Nicea review and text used out of context and it becomes a minefield.

 Now that mankind is a bit more advanced, literate and has an understanding of it's surroundings god really ought to make a bible update and set the record straight.  Bible: Episode IV.  A new pope.


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iranu wrote: This is

iranu wrote:

This is probably my biggest beef with regard to religion. It's the text. If it's the word of god then why is it so convoluted and metaphor strewn? I would have thought that in order to get the message across to as many people as possible it would have been written so that those with even a poor grasp of reading would have been able to understand it's meaning and the meaning be so crystal clear that those doing the reading could not read it any other way. Thout shalt not steal being a good example.

It's not surprising that because we now live in a mainly literate world that we can read the texts and see how easily it was to dupe the masses. After all an illiterate man cannot argue against the text and it's interpretation with someone who can read it. "klfri\pkkperrhgkbnas" can mean anything I like if the person I'm speaking to can't read.

Whilst I accept that story and metaphor are a good way to entertain people and get meaning across, after all this was the only way to communicate to the uneducated, it isn't a good way of keeping continuity so these stories will become confused, misinterpreted etc as they are passed on.

It's only once they are written down and then deciphered by multitudes can the meaning be found, however, by that stage it's too late because the story has become distorted most likely through a bit of embellishment. It's not hard to see the equivalent of computer generated special effects 1st century style in the bible's stories.

Couple this with (mis) translation, council of Nicea review and text used out of context and it becomes a minefield.

Now that mankind is a bit more advanced, literate and has an understanding of it's surroundings god really ought to make a bible update and set the record straight. Bible: Episode IV. A new pope.

So on one hand, you admit our understanding of reality is more sophisticated than 2000 years ago and on the other hand you expect that those that put "gods word" to paper to have had done so perfectly? The problem is not the text, but rather the blind adherence to a flawed document.


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Bible: Episode IV.  A new

Bible: Episode IV.  A new pope.

 


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Ok first of all. this

Ok first of all. this cartoon (above)

 

Laughed my ass off! funniest thing i've seen in ages. And the resembelance is uncanny!!!

 

Second

Theists: By what measure do you decide which parts of the bible are meant to be taken literally and which are to be interpretted as metaphor?

 

In the words of Han solo "thats the real trick isn't it."

Personally i use something i'd call " the holy spirit" which you would call "a figment of your imagination", "your concience" or possibly "looking for it to say what you want it to say". Take your pick.

Some bits are pretty obvious hyperbole. Some are less clear. Its all very open to misinterpretation. However lets assume for a second that you guys are right and i'm wrong and that there is no God. In that case the thing i call the HS is nothing more than my construct of what i think a benevolent God is. And there are worse things to live by than what you think would be a perfect standard. If i'm right then of course its much simpler. Thats not the pascal wager, i'm not talking about getting to heaven here, i'm talking about how you LIVE as a christian (or not).

So yes. There is cherry picking on my part. But its not entirely cynical or unguided. And whilst you can find bits of the bible to support some nasty stuff its much easier (at least in the NT) to find bits of good sound advice for a happy life.

 

 


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If it's the word of god

If it's the word of god then why is it so convoluted and metaphor strewn?  I would have thought that in order to get the message across to as many people as possible it would have been written so that those with even a poor grasp of reading would have been able to understand it's meaning and the meaning be so crystal clear that those doing the reading could not read it any other way.

A fair question. If it were a bit clearer then we might have avoided a few more wars. Then again we would probably have just found a different excuse!

 

My 0.02$ for what they are worth is that the bible had to communicate gods will to thousands of people over thousands of years in a variety of cultures and settings. One set of rules or message would not work. It had to be accessable to be relevant in all settings.

 I think of it as being the difference between a monet and a photo of a pond. The photo is more accurate. Its also got limited impact. A monet however communicates more of the FEELING of the pond. It make people emote differently and even communicates something about the artist.

But thats probably a bit like post modernist bollocks. So never mind. 


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    It realy is simple

 

 

It realy is simple mate.... If the bible is THE WORD OF GOD.. Then you can not cherry pick what to follow out of it and what to follow.

IF you do that then you have absolutly no credibility. It makes you and all others who use the bible as means of PROOF of jesus and god existance hypocrits.

While i am sure you will not agree with me on this, That doesn't make it any less true.

Mehh..


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IF you do that then you

IF you do that then you have absolutly no credibility. It makes you and all others who use the bible as means of PROOF of jesus and god existance hypocrits.

 

I'm not useing the bible as a means of proof of jesus and god. I don't think it ever can be. At best its a help to those who already beleive. If you don't beleive in god then you don't beleive in the bible. Its a circular argument.

 

It realy is simple mate.... If the bible is THE WORD OF GOD.. Then you can not cherry pick what to follow out of it and what to follow.

Why not? Nowhere does it say that its ALL relevant to EVERYONE ALL the time. As i've said somewhere else you can't anyway because the themes are contradictory. The bible is full of accasions where a previous command / instruction is superceeded by a newer one.

 

Who said its All got to be followed?


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Quote: A fair question. If

Quote:
A fair question. If it were a bit clearer then we might have avoided a few more wars. Then again we would probably have just found a different excuse!

Yeah. You're right. God, in his infinite wisdom, could have made any text he wanted. In fact, he could have put something in there about quantum mechanics... he could have taken hold of the writer's hand and written in a language not yet invented, describing subatomic particles in intricate detail which wouldn't be understandable for a couple thousand years. (Believe me, if the Bible had something in it about Georgia beating Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl in 2007, I'd stand a lot better chance of believing it, too...)

The point is, he's god. He could have come up with any number of really clever ways to make his text understandable -- and perfectly logical. That way, those of us who are deluded into thinking that logic is um... logical... would have an outside chance of believing. Instead, he wrote in exactly the same style of language, with exactly the same scientific misunderstandings, errant philosophy, and misogynist attitude of the people he was divinely inspiring.

And we shouldn't fault him for that because if he'd actually made the text so miraculous that it was unmistakable supernatural, us morons wouldn't even believe it.

You're very smart.

Quote:
My 0.02$ for what they are worth is that the bible had to communicate gods will to thousands of people over thousands of years in a variety of cultures and settings. One set of rules or message would not work. It had to be accessable to be relevant in all settings.

Yeah. It's too much to expect the creator of the known universe to have a chapter marked "AD 1," one marked "AD 1000," one marked, "AD 2000" with instructions like, "Do not open until then, or I'll smite you," and then smite anybody who opened it early.

Now that would impress the hell out of me. Literally. I'd be a Christian if only God had been a little less like the people who wrote the bible for him.

Quote:
I think of it as being the difference between a monet and a photo of a pond. The photo is more accurate. Its also got limited impact. A monet however communicates more of the FEELING of the pond. It make people emote differently and even communicates something about the artist.

You're right again. When we're dealing with something as important as the souls of billions of people, it's good that he didn't explain what he wanted. Better to let people interpret it on their own feelings. That way, more will go to hell and he'll be able to brag about how "just and righteous" he is.  After all, he couldn't be just and righteous without sending a few heathens to eternal torment for being logical.

Quote:
But thats probably a bit like post modernist bollocks. So never mind.

No offense, it's not up to the level of post modernist bollocks.

 

 

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a seeker wrote: 1 I'm not

a seeker wrote:

1 I'm not useing the bible as a means of proof of jesus and god. I don't think it ever can be. At best its a help to those who already beleive. If you don't beleive in god then you don't beleive in the bible. Its a circular argument.

2 .Why not? Nowhere does it say that its ALL relevant to EVERYONE ALL the time. As i've said somewhere else you can't anyway because the themes are contradictory. The bible is full of accasions where a previous command / instruction is superceeded by a newer one.

3 Who said its All got to be followed?

Lmao...

1. Ok.. If you do not use the bible as evidence of god/jesus etc What exactily do you use ? Because other then the bible there isn't a damn thing. And the bible does a piss poor job of even doing that.  

2. Ether it is the word of god or it isn't .. You can not claim it is the word of god and then pick and choose what to follow in it. It would be like me saying I agree with X book entirly but i am not going to follow what it says on page 12-15 because i don't want to.

3.  "Who said its All got to be followed?" <<  WOW... Once again .. If it is the word of god........................... THAT IS WHO .. 

Just wow.. that last statement is just... Wow..... (me shaking my head in disgust at the ignorance)  


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1. Ok.. If you do not use

1. Ok.. If you do not use the bible as evidence of god/jesus etc What exactily do you use ? Because other then the bible there isn't a damn thing. And the bible does a piss poor job of even doing that.  

I don't. I don't think there is any evidence. I think that it is a catagory error to think in terms of evidence. You can't prove any of christianity empirically.

2. Ether it is the word of god or it isn't .. You can not claim it is the word of god and then pick and choose what to follow in it. It would be like me saying I agree with X book entirly but i am not going to follow what it says on page 12-15 because i don't want to.

You presume much about what i "claim". When did i say that i agree with the book entirely? I did'nt. Where does it say in the bible that it all has to be applied at all times? It does'nt.

3.  "Who said its All got to be followed?" <<  WOW... Once again .. If it is the word of god........................... THAT IS WHO .. 

LOL

Nope. Does'nt follow.

Just wow.. that last statement is just... Wow..... (me shaking my head in disgust at the ignorance)  

LUINPM (Laugh until i nearly piss myself)

So let me get this right. You are NOT a christian, and don't claim to be. But then you assume that you know the correct way to read / interpret the "holy book" of my religion and can tell me i'm ignorant for not doing it in the way you think i should?

Thats confusing. I'm accused of being a "bad christian" by other christians all the time. Never had it from an atheist before!

I'll say it again. IF god inspired the writing of the bible, nowhere does he say it is ALL relevant to EVERYBODY in ALL circumstances. In fact he goes to some lengths to make it clear that its NOT and that much of what was written in the OT is not relevant any more. So HE does'nt tell me its all got to be followed. I don't think it's all got to be followed, the only person who does is YOU and you're not a Christian!

You seem to be creating a straw man here. You are creating a standard (that all christians should  follow all the bible all the time) then pulling it apart (because we don't).

Cheers

The ignorant one. Tongue out

 

 


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You're very smart. Thanks.

You're very smart.

Thanks. You're very politeWink

Instead, he wrote in exactly the same style of language, with exactly the same scientific misunderstandings, errant philosophy, and misogynist attitude of the people he was divinely inspiring.

I'd be a Christian if only God had been a little less like the people who wrote the bible for him.

Yeah its a bummer.

God speaks very clearly. Unfortunatly we don't listen so good.

"AD 1," one marked "AD 1000," one marked, "AD 2000" with instructions like, "Do not open until then, or I'll smite you," and then smite anybody who opened it early.

Smile

Love it. It would be "or i'll smite THEE" though. Otherwise people would'nt beleive it.

 if he'd actually made the text so miraculous that it was unmistakable supernatural, us morons wouldn't even believe it.

No i suspect the morons would beleive it. Its the clever folk who would'nt.

Gosh there is a lot of feeling going on. For people who don't beleive in "theism" you guys sure do get wound up about it! I feel like theres a lot of repressed frustration here!

Perhaps i should switch to blue text for quotes. Red makes people angry.

Do you need a hug?

 


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  Jesus said NO, to abe,

  Jesus said NO, to abe, so they killed him ....

Just as the greedy rulers would kill YOU

XIANS, just don't get it , so buried in that corrupted  Bible , where that Jesus school wrote nothing much that got into that Bible devil book ....

They gnostics just knew , like you , they were atheists, ONE with GOD!

I am an atheist for Jesus ....  yeah to that Jesus of ONE , fuck god af abe .... of separation shit crap of Devil LIES ......   

 

 


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a seeker wrote:

a seeker wrote:

I don't. I don't think there is any evidence. I think that it is a catagory error to think in terms of evidence. You can't prove any of christianity empirically.

The ignorant one. Tongue out

 

erm.....Indeed i can not prove any part of Christianity nor according to you can you..... It is nice to finally hear a believer admit that there is absolutely no evidence for god or jesus. (The only so called evidence of the existence of jesus or a god is the bible)

So it is nice that you admit that nothing can prove it ..

I suspect something though...... I have been going under the assumption that you are a believer in the Christian/catholic god/jesus.

Is this fact ? Or are you a Muslim or budist or something else..

Because your statements do not fit with the standered Christian /catholic rhetoric.

edit..

It comes down to evidence because without evidence you can not or should not believe anything.

Science mate... Is based on evidence..

Religion is not based on ANY evidence. 

 


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erm.....Indeed i can not

erm.....Indeed i can not prove any part of Christianity nor according to you can you..... It is nice to finally hear a believer admit that there is absolutely no evidence for god or jesus. (The only so called evidence of the existence of jesus or a god is the bible)

So it is nice that you admit that nothing can prove it ..

I'm surprised you're surprised. But no i don't think the bible can be justified by evidence (certainly not by anyone who knows what "evidence" actually means). And proof is an even bigger word.

I suspect something though...... I have been going under the assumption that you are a believer in the Christian/catholic god/jesus.

Is this fact ? Or are you a Muslim or budist or something else..

Because your statements do not fit with the standered Christian /catholic rhetoric.

No you're assumption is quite correct. I am a Christian and a beleiver in the christian God, and in jesus as more than a jewish rabble rouser. I might be considered a "non standard" christian though.

It comes down to evidence because without evidence you can not or should not believe anything.

Now thats a very large and interesting statement. I wonder how many things you beleive that either are not based on evidence or are based on evidence you have not seen!

A study of cognitive psychology reveals (using evidence;-&gtEye-wink that much of what we take for logical brain function is based more or heuristics and hard wired cognitive illusions. We all do it.

Science mate... Is based on evidence..

True. But in the wide gaps between the evidence it also uses models.

Religion is not based on ANY evidence.

And true. But there are many things in life which we take as true or experiance as pleasureable which are not based on evidence or are not properly understood or explained by evidence.

  


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Religion is not based on

Religion is not based on ANY evidence.

And true. But there are many things in life which we take as true or experiance as pleasureable which are not based on evidence or are not properly understood or explained by evidence.

Your arguement confuses my rational thought..

1. You agree that religion is not based on any evidence.

2. you admit to being a Jesus/Christian believer.

 

This does not compute..... It is irrational and  illogical..

Seriously mate.. im trying to understand your point yet you are agree Religion has no bases on fact.... Yet you still believe in the Christian jesus and god.

This just does not make sense to me........


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This does not compute.....

This does not compute..... It is irrational and  illogical..

That is because my brain (like yours), is not a computer. It may be logical on SOME level if you understand neurophysiology to a degree we are not even close to yet, but its certainly not on a superficial level (ie the level we are aware of as "rational" thought. )

I contend that beleiving in things which are not scientifically measureably / provable is a part of being human.

Eg.

Do you listen to music?

Why?

Do you beleive cheeseburgers taste good?

Where is the evidence?

 

Now the cheeseburger analogy is flawed because if we were being scientific all you could say that the taste of cheeseburgers stimulates a pleasure response in YOUR brain under standard test conditions rather than that they taste good objectivally. However if i came to visit and told you i'd never had one you would probably say something along the lines of "cheeseburgers are tasty, you should try one!" Thus being both irrational and yet relevant and useful. Because we do live as rational beings but as sloppy biological systems riddled with built in inconsistancies, strange emotional drives driven by complex chemical cocktails and hard wired heuristic patterns.

This just does not make sense to me........

Thats ok. It does'nt always make sense to me either. I suspect the difference is that i don't consider myself or indeed anyone who is fully sane to be "rational" most of the time! Oh we can think in a rational way (although not so well as we think) but thats a different thing, much like a computer trying to function in a "human" way.

Thus i would never try to "sell" religion to someone as being "proven" or "supported by evidence" or even "objectively as i see it". The most i would ever say is "it tastes good to me". However it is no less real for this.

 

 


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dave805 wrote: This does

dave805 wrote:

This does not compute..... It is irrational and illogical..

 

Must all things that exist be rational and logical? 


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Arrgh!  Can we lose the

Arrgh!  Can we lose the retina-devouring red font?


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wavefreak wrote: dave805

wavefreak wrote:
dave805 wrote:

This does not compute..... It is irrational and illogical..

 

Must all things that exist be rational and logical?

No (Fundy christians are proof of that).

However, If you are one who claims that your sky father knows everything and created logic, it would be nice if he/she/it were rational and logical. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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a seeker wrote:

a seeker wrote:


Gosh there is a lot of feeling going on. For people who don't beleive in "theism" you guys sure do get wound up about it! I feel like theres a lot of repressed frustration here!


Many of us are ex-Christians here.

As devoted Christians we invested our lives into our faith . It's much like a divorce in that there are raw emotions due to a sense of betrayal. To lose a belief system that once provided comfort and guidance is no small issue....why would you expect us to be impassive ?

Besides, losing our faith doesn't mean that we forfeit the right to express strong emotions.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )


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jcgadfly wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
wavefreak wrote:
dave805 wrote:

This does not compute..... It is irrational and illogical..

 

Must all things that exist be rational and logical?

No (Fundy christians are proof of that).

However, If you are one who claims that your sky father knows everything and created logic, it would be nice if he/she/it were rational and logical.

Sky father? A rather insulting pejorative if you are casting aspersions at what I believe. I am not a fundamentalist.

 

While it might be nice that such an entity as "god" be logical and rational, the evidence suggests that there is yet nothing discovered that fits this discription. Humans can practice logic and rationality, but by nature, are neither.


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wavefreak wrote: jcgadfly

wavefreak wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:
wavefreak wrote:
dave805 wrote:

This does not compute..... It is irrational and illogical..

 

Must all things that exist be rational and logical?

No (Fundy christians are proof of that).

However, If you are one who claims that your sky father knows everything and created logic, it would be nice if he/she/it were rational and logical.

Sky father? A rather insulting pejorative if you are casting aspersions at what I believe. I am not a fundamentalist.

 

While it might be nice that such an entity as "god" be logical and rational, the evidence suggests that there is yet nothing discovered that fits this discription. Humans can practice logic and rationality, but by nature, are neither.

Are you one of those that claims your god created logic yet exists outside it? If not, it doesn't apply to you.

If it applies to you, where does your God live? "Sky father" seems to be the best description for most theists. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly wrote: Are you

jcgadfly wrote:

Are you one of those that claims your god created logic yet exists outside it? If not, it doesn't apply to you.

If it applies to you, where does your God live? "Sky father" seems to be the best description for most theists.

Logic is a methodology and as such has no material existence. So even you and I exist outside of logic. And as logic has no material existence it was not created. 


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wavefreak wrote: jcgadfly

wavefreak wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:

Are you one of those that claims your god created logic yet exists outside it? If not, it doesn't apply to you.

If it applies to you, where does your God live? "Sky father" seems to be the best description for most theists.

Logic is a methodology and as such has no material existence. So even you and I exist outside of logic. And as logic has no material existence it was not created.

Funny how there's so much that we do that is governed by the rules of logic. If we were truly outside of (not bound by) logic we could do pretty much whatever we wished.

Other than that, great dodge.

Does the lack of material existence hold for whatever it is you call God also (your god doesn't exist)? Or is your God somehow an exception? 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly wrote: Funny how

jcgadfly wrote:

Funny how there's so much that we do that is governed by the rules of logic. If we were truly outside of (not bound by) logic we could do pretty much whatever we wished.

Other than that, great dodge.

Does the lack of material existence hold for whatever it is you call God also (your god doesn't exist)? Or is your God somehow an exception?

Anything that exists must be in some sense material. The nature of that material may be as yet be unknown.  I would not call it an exception. There are forms of theism that to not presume a supernatural entity.


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Arrgh!  Can we lose the

Arrgh!  Can we lose the retina-devouring red font?

 

Better? 


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a seeker wrote: Arrgh!

a seeker wrote:

Arrgh! Can we lose the retina-devouring red font?

 

Better?

Yes, but using the quote function is probably the preferred method for the statement-response interactions here (IMHO).

 

Tanky...HCG 


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Everybody who's responded is a veteran here. Can we just skip the song and dance and get to the real question?

Theists: By what measure do you decide which parts of the bible are meant to be taken literally and which are to be interpretted as metaphor?

My Standard answer to this question again - It's all metaphorical, and from the perspective of someone several thousand years and hundreds of cultures removed from the existence the literature refers to it can never be anything but. Everything written is coloured by the perception and idiosyncracy of the writer, wether it be a dotted and crossed perfectly recorded historical account or a work of fiction it is equally colloquial and the best a reader can do is relate analogously to the context.

 As much as cherry picking is maligned, what's a person to do to avoid it short of mind-reading anyway? Reading is cherry picking by nature, the conscious mind accepts what it can understand; what has some correspondence with an arrangement of existing information, does it not? The real problem with cherry picking IMO arises after you accept mindfully what you can informatically relate to, it happens when that acceptance is never questioned or tested by the reader when the reader confuses that initial and natural stroking of the ego with the end of wisdom. 

 

 

 

Quote:

If you are allowed to decide arbitrarily that cutting off one's hand is not really necessary, I am allowed to decide that heaven and hell are metaphors for happiness or unhappiness on this, the only life I am to receive.

 

You of course know, I agree with you on this.

Quote:
 

I can also decide that "belief in Jesus as the Only Begotten Son of The One True God of the Universe as the only path to salvation" is a metaphor for belief in myself, since clearly I am the only being of whose existence I can have 100% certainty.

For that matter, I can decide that "God" is a metaphor for my own conscience, and that I have only myself to answer to.

Please, theists, prove me wrong objectively using only the bible as a reference.

 

Proving this wrong is unnecessary and delinquent IMO, if you'll excuse a little cornyness I think that those decisions are a positive refelction on your personal integrity. I would rather, if you were genuinely interested, direct you to where you might find more interesting and promising theological mysteries to consider. 

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I dont see anything wrong

I dont see anything wrong with cherry picking your way through the bible and interpreting it the way you see fit. Everyone does it. My problem comes up when an average christian who cherry picks their way through the bible calls me "immoral" simply because I am an atheist. I'll use a quote from a second to show you why.

Quote:
Personally i use something i'd call " the holy spirit" which you would call "a figment of your imagination", "your concience" or possibly "looking for it to say what you want it to say". Take your pick.

Your basically using your personal moral code to try to understand the word of god. Again, nothing wrong with that. However, your average theist will say that he has a very strong moral code because it comes straight from the bible, and I have no moral code because I dont have faith in anything. Our morals come from the same place, the theist just uses his to interpret the bible, and I dont.

This became a problem for me over the holidays when I spent time with a friend of mine's family, and I told her mother that I was an athiest. Her respone was "Dont say that. I wont like you if you say that."

So my question is this, what justification does a theist use to call an atheist immoral, and still allow himself to cherry pick his way through the bible?

 

"I may be going to hell in a rocketship, but at least I get to ride in a rocketship. You have to climb those damn stairs. " - Katie Volker


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So my question is this,

So my question is this, what justification does a theist use to call an atheist immoral, and still allow himself to cherry pick his way through the bible?

 For a theist to call an atheist immoral because of their beleifs is not logically defensible. Equally for an atheist to call a theist arrogant because of their beleifs is not logically defensible.

Somebodies beleif (or lack thereof) cannot be used as a tool to characterize that person. Sure there are arrogant christians and ammoral atheists. There are also amoral christians and arrogant atheists. That does'nt mean they are all that way. What an insult to the rich and broad tapestry of the human psyche that would be. 

 I will say that although you could probably find bits of the bible to justify most "personal moral codes" you would struggle to avoid the themes which come up repeatedly in the NT. Be nice to one another. Don't be judgemental. Look after those less fortunate. That kind of thing.

Anyone who claims that they do not bring their personal prejudice to reading anything (including the bible) is deluded. However some people do honestly seek to adhere to some of the clearer themes of the bible. 

I tend to find most (though by no means all)of the verses which i would describe as open to abuse or misinterpretation are in the OT and in Revalation. It is rare that i will "discount" or "ignore" something in the Gospels for eg.

Regards

Seeker

 


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a seeker wrote:

a seeker wrote:

Anyone who claims that they do not bring their personal prejudice to reading anything (including the bible) is deluded.

I agree with your observation....and the evidence is indisputable.

Despite the general view among Christian theists that the Scriptures exist to impart wisdom, guidance and knowledge it ( the Bible ) fails miserably in that regard.

The ambiguous nature of many biblical passages has led to Christian theists embracing views that are in complete opposition with each other... yet all the while claiming biblical support for this contradictory views.

Biblical justification of White Racism: http://www.kingidentity.com/

Biblical justification of homosexuality:

http://whosoever.org/index.shtml

It seems that any viewpoint, no matter how divergent from scriptual orthodoxy, can be justified.

The Bible is not a useful tool for clearing away confusion, it is however a very effective tool for creating it.

 

 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )


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Thats certainly a view. Not

Thats certainly a view. Not one i'd agree with but a valid one nonetheless.

 

It is quite true that there are many biblical passages which are contradictory. It is also true that there are many which are not and which many christians hold in common.

 

My personal view is that the Bible has done more good than harm. But that is just my own observations of myself and those of my immediate aquaintance. I'm sure my experiance is not universal.

 


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a seeker wrote:

a seeker wrote:


It is quite true that there are many biblical passages which are contradictory.

I am pleasantly suprised to hear such an honest assessment of biblical errancy from what I assume is a Christian theist.

My own religious background was heavily steeped in the issue of biblical inerrancy. As a fundamentalist Christian I blindly accepted that assumption and was later horrified to discover that it was in no way supported by the facts.

As an atheist I find an admission such as yours to be an area of common ground and one that intellectually closes the distance between us.

In the words of Mr. Spock I find that...."Interesting." Wink

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire ( 1694-1778 )


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I am pleasantly suprised to

I am pleasantly suprised to hear such an honest assessment of biblical errancy from what I assume is a Christian theist.

 You assume correctly.

 I think that there is a degree of moral cowardice which goes on in terms of how we (theists AND atheists alike) analyse our own beleifs. It can be observed in how passionatly people defend their core beleifs, beleifs which the person on some level fears would not stand against close scrutiny.

 If you are minded to indulge in a little cognitive psychology it can be explained by the use of heuristics (mental short cuts or subroutines). When we do this (and we all do) it renders the thought process inaccessable to correction or analysis (because they was no process, we jumped straight to the end). Because the brain does not see the heuristic or accept that it started with the conclusion it tends to build in the process backwards and the reasoning is often more than a bit shaky. As such it tends to be defended more by emotion than logic. You can usually tell by how angry someone gets when their beleif is challenged.  

 

It is not entirly unlike the gunslinger fallacy where somebody fires six shots at a barn wall, walks over to the wall, draws a circle around the biggest grouping and says "i was aiming there".

 

I'm glad you feel that the intellectual gap between our views is not so wide. Perhaps there IS room for intellegent discussion somewhere in that gap.

 

Regards

seeker

PS i much prefer your new avatar, the old one gave me a headache!


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wavefreak wrote: Here's

wavefreak wrote:

Here's another metaphor for you to consider: Cherry picking

Example of Cherry Picking: The opening post.

 

 

If the entire bible is God's word, anything in there must be his word. Therefore, how can you cherry pick?? It seems that each statement is as equal as the others. Is it the word of God or not? And if only part of it is, how do you know which parts??

"Those who think they know don't know. Those that know they don't know, know."


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RationalSchema

RationalSchema wrote:
wavefreak wrote:

Here's another metaphor for you to consider: Cherry picking

Example of Cherry Picking: The opening post.

 

 

If the entire bible is God's word, anything in there must be his word. Therefore, how can you cherry pick?? It seems that each statement is as equal as the others. Is it the word of God or not? And if only part of it is, how do you know which parts??

 

Uh ... think here. Even if the ENTIRE bible is god's word, NOBODY believes that NONE of it is metaphor. Read Eloise's post above. Basically, cherry picking can't be avoided.