The Bible. Myth or Reality?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Greatest I am, May 21, 2015.

  1. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Do you know what kind of clock they had , to compare the sun movement Was the day cloudy mixed or shiny ?
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  3. Greatest I am Valued Senior Member

    There are many sources for just about everything today that are better than any religious source.

    Especially when looking at moral questions.

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  5. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Could you name some in regard to moral question ..
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I understand what you are saying, but what good is literature if it cannot be read literally? Any Scripture that claims Truth, but must be read with a grain of salt is not worth the paper its written on.

    My advice to religious leaders, revisit the literature and edit out the nonsense. Perhaps then some clarity and understanding of the underlying message might be achieved .

    Pope John Paul was on the right track when;
    Unfortunately, actual Scripture has not changed a single word and everyday someoe buys a bible is exposed to the same nonsense as before.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Are you talking metaphorically, allegorically, as a fable, as a parable, hyperbolically, or indeed literally?
    If you cannot accept literature the is not literal then I guess you have no appreciation of such linguistic devices, let alone ghetto entire realm of literary fiction.

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    You eexpect answers to be given rather than earned?
    Where would the fun be in simply being told things rather than working them out for yourself?
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Oh I understand all forms of literature. But then none of the above except the last one claims the be Truth.
    I can accept all literature in any form, except when it is presented as Divine Truth.
    Earning understanding is through learning and learning is achieved by *factual correctness*.
    If Scripture is an example of working things out for yourself, I'd rather start with some fundamental factual information. Else you get a "confounding of languages" as evidenced by *6 day creation* myth, which

    I, as an atheist, had to explain the Biblical 6 day creation to a theist person who read the bible literally, because it claimed Truth, not allegory.

    You know how I explained 6 day creation? I simply asked the person, that if the earth and the 24 hr day did not yet exist, why should one of God's days be 24 hrs and not 2 billion years, which changed her entire viewpoint of 6 day creation.

    If something is not literal Truth, then preface it as Allegory, else we end up whit 3000 years of Holy wars and continuing today , in spite of Scientific Truths (provable facts).

    Apparently you do not read my posts as I constantly try to explain the allegorical nature of the Scripture to theists. If I tried this in a Theocracy I'd be arrested and beheaded for Apostasy. Independent thinking is NOT allowed in Theism.

    C'mon Sarkus, you must be jesting. Carlin said it best, albeit crudely.
    and a dialogue with a TV Evangelist.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    But what is the Truth? Is it the literal interpretation or is it the truth behind the metaphor / hyperbole etc?
    You said "what good is literature if it can not be read literally?" - it can help us reach the truth for ourselves without spoon-feeding it to us. It can serve as enjoyment etc. I.e. It has many uses.
    Only if you require of it to be the literal truth is the literature not good if it can not be read literally. But where in the bible does it say that it is to be taken as the literal truth?
    Divine truth does not necessarily mean that it should be taken literally.
    So you've never learnt anything from a metaphor, a fable, an exaggeration, once you have compared what you have been told to the reality that you have experienced, and thus matched the experience (fact) to the story? Does the non-literal story mean that it is not correct?
    Oh, don't get me wrong, my preference would be for a clear instruction booklet etc. But just because you don't think it is to be taken literally does not mean that what you have is any less helpful, that it is any less truthful. One merely needs to understand what is being said.
    Great. And once you explained the metaphor as you understood it, does that make the story less truthful to you, given your understanding of how it can be interpreted? Or do you dismiss it as hokum simply because it is not, as you understand things, to be taken literally?
    Sure, but that is another issue and nothing to do with the truth or otherwise of the books themselves. The issue you raise is a matter of how one understands the bible, and the difference between those who take it literally, those who take it metaphorically, those who think it all just fiction, or any other interpretation.
    I read your posts when I come across them. And given that you are explaining what you see as the allegorical nature of the scripture must meant that you think the scripture is truthful, albeit masked under allegory, parable, fable etc.
    Or do you explain the allegorical nature and then say that what the allegory is explaining is wrong?
    If so, how do you know that your understanding of what the allegory is trying to explain is correct?

    So I think you're conflating two arguments here: one is the usefulness or otherwise of a book that (in your view) can not be taken literally, and the second is the confusion that such a book brings when people end up with different interpretations.

    In my view the end point of the second does not negate the book as being useful, or true, whether that truth is ultimately allegorical or literal.
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    sorry for mixing the quotes, was too late to correct them.
  13. river

    Does it matter whether religion is biblical myth or reality?

    Either way people are killing people. The philosophy needs to stop.
  14. timojin Valued Senior Member

    The philosophy for change should be the Golden rule " don't do to other what you would not like to be done to you "
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Yes, but then all fables and fairy tales are enjoyable reading.
    But if allegory is based on a false truth, allegory (a logical derivative) becomes merely a fairy tale.
    Did I ever say that? I have several times agreed that allegory can be useful as moral lessons. But let me ask you, how would you view the bible if Genesis began with *in the beginning was the word, and the word was FSM* (instead of YWH).
    I agree.
    And how does one understand what is being said when the underlying premise is false. How many times (on this very forum) do we dismiss people who present a very logical scientific narrative based on a false premise?
    But are you not doing the same thing here? How many people take 6000 year old earth literally, in spite of the fact that we know the earth MUST be much older. Does any allegory based on that assumption provide useful knowledge?
    Quite the opposite, I think Scripture must be truthful, before any allegory based on the fundamental premise can be taken seriously. Why should we have to parse out the good parts from a book which claims Divine Truth.
    You are parsing my statements. I have said that many allegories in Scripture are useful in explaining moral obligations. But if an allegory is based on false assumptions, the allegory is useless.
    As is obviously the case and those different interpretations resulted in thousands of years of Holy wars, even within the very same Religions. Witness the Sunni and Shia wars within Islam.
    You are reading me out of context and parsing my observations..
    I believe I am smart enough separating moral allegory from scientific facts. I often use allegory to illustrate and clarify a scientific point as I understand it. But when my scientific facts are wrong, the accompanying narrative becomes necessarily wrong also. My suggestion is to first get some fundamental scientific facts correct, then the accompanying narrative and allegories can be read in context and understood in context.

    I only seek to correct scientific flaws in the bible, which automatically would separate false allegorical narratives from scientifically correct allegories.

    This is why I cited Pope John Paul II, who admitted that Evolution is a scientific fact. If we apply this to biblical scripture, that would automatically remove many other scientifically incorrect narrative derivatives.

    Example: Acceptance of Evolution would change the entire story of Adam and Eve eating the fruit (apple) from the tree of *knowledge* which could then be properly interpreted as *the evolution of human intelligence*. No *talking snakes* (snakes have no vocal chords), no "you will surely die", which did not happen did it?
    It would explain that man's ability to change the environment also removes him from the natural functions of environment. Not God's wrath kicked Adam and Eve out from Eden (Paradise). God (as a concept) has no emotional stake or involvement in the activities of the Universe.
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    But it is the philosophy contained in scripture that causes people to kill each other.
  17. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Not necessary . Chapter one Genesis says God created man and woman . It started from vegetation to mammals to man . Adam and Eve is a special case . The word death can be a separation from God which it happen they went away from the paradise . Perhaps the paradise was an island between Tigres and Eufrates and it go flooded
  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    No, they're not. Even the Grimm fairy tales are relatively hard to read, often dull and dreary. Perhaps you are merely referring to Disney-fied versions?

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    while you would first need to prove the falseness, even fairy tales can have a moral guide within it, and thus useful.
    So how do you balance is with the requirement for "factual correctness" for learning that you stated was needed?
    If FSM was as consistently used throughout the bible as YWH then I'm sure someone would have established what FSM meant, who it referred to, and no doubt we would be using a different name of god than Yahweh.
    One interprets it as best one can with reference to what one does know, situations one does understand etc. Something does not need to be factually correct in order for us to learn.
    Many. But mostly they can I show the premise to be false from the getgo and the intention of the original argument is for it to be taken literally, such that a false premise negates the argument with regard the conclusion.
    Depends what you want out of the Bible. If you just want factual literal knowledge then the bible will be of little use other than an historical document of the times. As a book that offers much after interpretation, it can be quite surprising.
    Then we differ on what scripture needs to be. Truthful, yes, but literally true? Why? Unless one thinks that scripture should simply be an instruction manual?
    If you believe in an objective morality, sure. I don't, so I don't see the bible as explaining moral obligations, only in shedding light on why people may think the way they do.
    Feel free to demonstrate the falseness of the assumptions.
    I am not reading you out of context at all, although you may not be clearly explaining your position.
    As for parsing your observations, if by that you simply mean I am analysing them to discover implications, deeper meanings... In part, although the face-value of what you have been saying is sufficient to respond as I have done.
    Sure. If the truth you are trying to explain through allegory is a scientific fact.
    Why do you think scripture need be in any way about such facts that man can discern for themselves over time? Why can scripture not be more about what it is to be man, the philosophical, the moral, the ethical, a self-help guide to be interpreted rather than taken as factually accurate for all people at all times, as you seem to require of it?
    To what end? I do not consider the bible to be a scientific text book. And the truths within narratives do not always, if ever, depend on the veracity of its science.
    If that is what you expect of the bible, of any scripture, then we differ on that.
    So the truth of what the passage in the bible says, if there is truth within it in the first place, needs to be interpreted and not taken at face value. So what? Again, if you expect it to be a book of literal truths, we differ. Or if your only issue is with those who do use it as such, then I think you're wasting your time to be honest, as those that accept it as such are beyond reasoning and do so on rather strong faith.
    Care to support the last sentence? Or do you simply mean that if God is merely a man-made concept then there can be no such stake or involvement?

    To be clear, I don't think we're disagreeing on much here, certainly not on the principal that the bible should not be taken literally. But whereas you seem to use that lack of scientific factual veracity as a means to dismiss or at least diminish the use of the bible, or any scripture, I don't, but then I never took it as literal so never saw that as a useful way of using the bible in the first place.
  19. Waiter_2001 Registered Senior Member

    I believe the Bible is truth however has anyone else considered who produced the writings? Is it possible that the World's saviour, Son of God and Hero could be the writer himself: Jesus?!
  20. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Why do people still teach the ideas of Darwin, since Darwin didn't mention genetics in any of his writings. We now know genetics is an underlying cause of many of things in life and evolution? That was a huge oversight on his part. Darwin's book did not even do a solid statistical analysis of his data? If anyone presented their life science data that same way, it would never be published.

    The reason we still teach about the ideas of Darwin is because he played a key role in the history of biological thinking. He helped to lay the foundation for modern thinking. When we learn about the present, in the context of the past; Darwin, we can better anticipate the future; two point allow us to draw a line.

    The same is true of the bible. Like Darwin it may not be up to date to the ideas and protocol of modern times, but it still provides a foundation by which many of the ideas of the present appeared and can be extrapolated to the future.

    Those who wish to rewrite the past, are trying to create a trick line to the future; the future they wish it to be. Those who don't learn from real history, end up repeating the mistakes of the past, and waste everyone's time reaching the real future.
  21. Waiter_2001 Registered Senior Member

    What mistakes of the past???
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    May I remind all that the OP question is "The Bible, Myth or Reality"?

    The Bible, while it contains useful moral allegories, is fundamentally based on Myth, resulting in thousands of years in confusion of knowledge. Witness its continuing history of Holy wars in Reality.

    Darwin's theory of evolution, while incomplete, is fundamentally based on factual Reality, resulting in clarity of knowledge. Witness its continuing history of evolutionary knowledge and applied genetics in Reality.

    Newton's law of gravity, while incomplete, is fundamentally based on factual Reality, resulting in clarity of knowledge. Witness it's continuing use in say, satellite communication and landing men on the moon in Reality.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
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  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    I guess you missed the whole evolution thingy. DNA wasn't known when Darwin wrote his thesis on evolution and DNA's roll in genetics wasn't known until nearly a century later. Just because Darwin didn't know the genetic mechanics of evolution, his observation that life forms evolve over time was a revolutionary discovery. There was no oversight. And if you understood statistics and evolution, you would understand the stupidity of your assertion that there was.

    All Darwin did was note life forms evolve over time in order to exploit their environment. It's called natural selection. Darwin isn't father of modern science. Darwin's theory of natural selection was groundbreaking as it challenged biblical notions of creation. It challenged the biblical notion that God created all creatures and those creatures do not change and have not changed. And it still, to this day, challenges the religious beliefs of many, especially fundamentalists, who believe and interpret the Bible literally. That's why so called conservatives and religious fundamentalists don't want evolution taught in the schools to this very day.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
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