Catch 22 of the Bible

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Gorlitz, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Gorlitz Iron Man Registered Senior Member

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    Ok so we have two main types of religious people in relation to the bible. We have those who take the bible literally, every paragraph, line and word. Then we have those who choose how to interpret the bible, perhaps finding some particular relevance to their own lives or in a way that suits their particular viewpoint.

    Lets take this first group, the people who the bible literally, these people have a big problem in as much as large sections of the bible are just not relevant to modern life, some of the practices are certainly not acceptable in modern society and if they happen to have any misprints in their copies of the bible well they will really have problems, i.e. having a bible with the misprint of "faith, hop and charity", might lead them to believe that it necessary to spend their lives 'hopping'.

    Now lets take this second group, what we can say about these people is that they don't take the bible literally but they do use bits of to give meaning to and justify their actions. The real problem that this group has is that there is absolutely no guarantee that their interpretations will be the same as those of others. In fact with the correct wording selected and a suitable interpretation placed upon it, it could then be used to justify just about any different course of action or particular viewpoint.

    So why is it a catch 22 situation? Because no matter how anyone chooses to read or use the bible they can never really use it in the way it was intended for at the time of writing, thus for anyone who tries ultimately fails and ends misusing it. Thus to try is to fail and this is the catch 22.
     
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  3. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Just like reading any other literary work, some just realize that there are literary devices such as metaphor and that it does reflect the time in which it was written. Can people twist it to justify anything they want? Yes, but people can do that with anything. Who says that there must be uniform agreement on any literary work?
     
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    That's a good thing! We shouldn't be killing gays and stoning women as Leviticus calls for.

    Well, if someone uses the Bible to bring them comfort in troubled times, I would think that's a good use of the Bible - not a misuse.
     
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  7. Gorlitz Iron Man Registered Senior Member

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    I guess what I mean is because it cannot be used as was originally intented any real spiritual relevance can no longer be justified and thus the status of the bible should then command no more respect than indeed any other major literary work. Thus the real catch 22 is that those seeking to use the bible for their own ends to justify their viewpoints are undermining themselves by even seeking to use it, thus again any attempt at usage is really misusage.
     
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Spoken like a true Red Dwarf fan.
     
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    You are saying two different things.

    1) It cannot be used as intended (i.e. Leviticus was a law book) - agreed
    2) Therefore its spiritual relevance can no longer be justified - not agreed. The two have nothing to do with each other.

    There's a lot of stories we pass on that have value. George Washington chopped down a cherry tree, but was honest enough to tell his father - and was rewarded for his honesty. Not literally true, but that doesn't eliminate its value as a parable.

    Again, just not supportable. Would you claim that Mother Teresa's use of the Bible to guide her life was "misuse?"
     
  10. Gorlitz Iron Man Registered Senior Member

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    In a word yes, the reason I would that is because she used it to reinforce that which she already believed. She used it in a positive way undoubtedly, but Heinrich Himmler also made use of or as I would put misused the bible for his own ends, the fact of whether the purpose of usage is for good or bad is irrelevant, the fact is people have and are misusing it to support their own philosophy.
     
  11. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    For Christians, the Old Testament laws do not apply anyway, as the New Testament superseded them. So how do these acknowledged obsolete laws detract from spiritual relevance?
     
  12. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    So God made a mistake initially? It's a book that Christians want everyone to read and learn lessons from. Genesis is in the Old Testament too, should we ignore that?
     
  13. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Just like we give rules to children until they are old enough to do without them. No mistake, only a natural progression with maturity. It is a false dilemma that the entirety should be "ignored" only because we recognize specific historical contexts.
     
  14. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    So which parts should we ignore and which parts should we follow religiously? Maybe the final gospel hasn't come yet and it will resemble the Origin of Species?
     
  15. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Any adult should be able to use reasonable discernment. Sacrificing animals...probably not relevant to contemporary life, refraining from murder...probably a good idea even now.
     
  16. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    So basically religious morality is no different than atheist morality?
     
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Matthew 5:17 - Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    Those are the words of Jesus himself saying that not one "jot or tittle" of the Old Testament shall pass away, and reminding people that the commandments of the Pentateuch remain in force.
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    I agree that people can misuse the Bible to support their own philosophy. They can also use it well, as Mother Teresa did. For her, and for the vast majority of Christians, it is still valid and still has very real spiritual relevance.
     
  19. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Fuck Mother Teresa, she didn't do good. Anyway, the point here seems to be what is the right way to use it? If the Bible can be "misused" then it isn't perfect and not a good guide to living.
     
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting opinion.

    Are you of the opinion that unless something is perfect it cannot be used as a guide? The Constitution is surely not perfect (it mentions slavery) - should we discard it as a guide for running a country?
     
  21. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    The Constitution is not contradictory. It clearly states that slavery was eliminated. And we know it was written by fallible men who never claimed to be perfect, which is why we can update it.
     
  22. Gorlitz Iron Man Registered Senior Member

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    But any form of interpretation, without accepting the whole text literally is just picking and choosing to suit and or justify a particual viewpoint. This means ultimately it has no value as you can pick and choose which ever bit you want. You already know your desired outcome before you've selected a bit you like, the selection process is just a validation of your original desired outcome.
    So ultimately your attemps to use are just turning it your personal propaganda tool, any 'meaning' you may find isn't and cannot be valid. Even those that would claim to accept the bible literally are themselves out of context as modern life is so very different than at the time it was written, resulting in having to interpret for modernlife, thus any such interpretations will themselves be subject to comfirmation of that which the user desires. So again I say any attempt at use is really a misuse.
     
  23. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    But perhaps that is precisely it's value. It's like the I Ching or a Rorschach test. It makes people feel better about what they already want to believe.
     

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