Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Rav, Jul 26, 2012.
Not every one uses literally the bible , there are a lot of metaphors .
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Not everything is possible.
I have some personal experience with that. While the church I used to belong to many years ago was a devout and evangelical one, being that it was new testament-centric, no one really got too hung up on all the details in the old testament writings. They were considered very important of course, and still relevant in many respects, but it was not really considered taboo to hold a creatively constructed view of the nature of the reality of some of the events it chronicled.
In the beginning however I'd had significant exposure to creationist literature from other sources, and wasn't quite intellectually wise enough to consider the possibility that what it was telling me might not actually be true. I just believed it because it sounded very authoritative, and because evolutionary theory seemed too fantastic to me to be taken all that seriously. After all, I was still conceptualizing it at the time as a process that required fish to somehow sprout half-formed limbs and underdeveloped lungs and crawl out of isolated puddles of water like retarded asthmatics. Yeah, I'm laughing now too.
Anyway, the point is that when I finally started learning about evolution, and eventually had my hair blown back by it, it wasn't very difficult for me to incorporate it into my theistic views. It was rather easy in fact.
The trial droned on…
Testimony: “Why would God create complete ecosystems only to have them virtually annihilated, so that entirely different ecosystems would temporarily emerge in their place, only to meet the same fate, over and over again? Had the asteroids which wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago missed the Earth, it’s likely that our little branch on the tree of life would never have developed, since the end of dinosaur dominance made it possible for our small mammal ancestors to flourish; how are such chance contingencies in the history of life compatible with the alleged providence of a Creator?”
Judge Graybeard was fully awake now and was carving something out of a large block of wood, which was said not to be a boat or a cargo-cult thing; but he still watched the proceedings with one eye.
I have some experience with that. I had (still have) no problems with seeing Genesis as metaphor and allegory. It was when I really started thinking about Jesus, redemption, salvation, reconcilliation, crucifixion, sacrifice, "Lamb of God"... I realized that either Jesus died for a metaphor or Genesis was true.
Or - more likely - Jesus is a metaphor that was grafted on to the Hebrew mythology.
So, from my experience, picking and choosing leads to disbelief.
“Worse still, consider the vast amount of suffering needed to secure our existence through natural selection; the environment ‘selects’ those organisms best adapted to it, not the most even-tempered ones. Consequently, numerous predatory creatures have evolved which regularly inflict suffering on prey and host animals. The screw-worm fly (Cochliomyia hominivorax), for instance, lays its eggs in the wounds or eyes of mammals (including humans), causing any wounds to wide when the eggs hatch and the larva eat the surrounding tissue. This attracts more congeners, further widening the wounds. Untreated, such parasitism often leads to a gruesome death. Or consider the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which causes autoimmune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Is God's great evolutionary success one which creates immense suffering among human beings?”
It was now getting near 3 PM, the judge announcing, “That’s it for today; let’s meet again sometime, after my vacation.
So do you use the non-metaphors literally?
“The mind is like a man in a rowboat.”
“Well, a few days ago there were 50-foot waves on the north shore of Oahu. Some ants looking like people surfed on them or at least the wave remnants, enjoying the ecstasy, and then were ground up into the sand, in agony; a guy in a rowboat fished them out.”
“I can see a tree with my physical eye because that tree is embodied in matter, but, to conceptualize that tree my mind goes into universal concepts of meaning which have never taken embodiment in matter, for they do not require physical presence before my eye. So, you see, concepts are not acts of a bodily organ such as the brain or they would exist in matter; conceptual thought is an immaterial power which we use to form concepts of meaning. Utilizing that power does not require any physical sense or organs.”
Judge: “Immaterial, since the brain is an organ. Time for a recess.”
Do you understand what's wrong with that?
The theistic evolution case resumes:
Attorney: “I’d like to address the tree.”
Attorney: “Hello tree.”
[P]Attorney: “The tree, as out there, is a bunch of waves, the photons carrying the ‘visuals’, the air-vibrations passing on the ‘sounds’, the molecules transmitting ‘odour’ by their shapes, etc. I use quotes to show that these transformations are fully made later on by the brain If there is no brain around, then there are just the waves emanating. While our senses are absolutely in direct contact with the waves/particles that are out there, we don’t have awareness at this level, plus, the direct jumble of waves all interfering with each other might not reveal anything much right off the bat, for it would be a big mess. So, the brain proceeds to process the information with its many modules and subsystems through higher and higher levels, finding edges, intensity, color, and distance for vision, detecting molecule shapes for smell, interpreting air waves as sound, etc., until the tree is seen, smelled, heard, and so forth as the final perception of the tree with its qualities within the head.
“There is no dividing line where the brain says “I can do no more” and hands it off to some nonphysical realm, for it has already done it all. This includes the brain’s memory coming along and knowing what a tree is as a whole and its parts, associations arising, such as the old tree house, or that leaves have chlorophyll and fall in the autumn, etc., and then more associations upon those associations. The brain is the lifeboat navigating and re-cognizing the waves of reality, painting a useful face upon the waters. All is ever in the brain as a representation, the tree never being directly known as it is, not even in the first place.”
Judge: “OK, back to evolution.”
Testimony: “Immense suffering, like wasteful “trial and error,” is not incidental, but is inherent to the process of evolution. And it does not sit well with the notion that evolution has been set up or directed by a loving God. The theistic retort that “God moves in mysterious ways” goes well beyond the evidence from evolutionary biology, not to mention that it is a kind of excuse for very poor, sometimes seemingly near insane, ways of accomplishing things. There is a far simpler and elegant explanation for that evidence: there is no Divine will to grope at in the dark, just the indifferent, pitiless, and naturalistic forces of evolution. Since evolution is a slow, wasteful, and brutal process, prima facie it is not the way in which a goal-oriented, omnipotent, omniscient, and loving God would choose to create the world. Thus a naturalistic explanation for the origin of all species, including homo sapiens, is more plausible than a theistic one.”
Judge: “Nap time. Then the verdict.”
(Me, too, see you tomorrow, Rav.)
There history , there are prophesy a and there are statements , so O use accordingly, some thing you understand some not , so you dwell in them .
No. I was asking you to explain and justify it.
As for me, I don't believe that it's necessary for religious believers to always interpret their religious texts as literal and inerrant.
It's possible for Christians, for example, to read the Bible as a diverse collection of texts written by many human beings over the span of centuries, people who were trying to express their own beliefs about and reactions to their God and his actions. Most of the textual and 'higher' historical criticism of the Bible has been produced by Christian scholars, after all.
In other words, it's possible for both atheists and believers to read religious texts as expressions of the traditions that produced them.
Where the believers are going to differ from the atheists is in believing that the writers of the texts really were responding to God and to God's actions here on Earth. Atheists aren't going to believe that, just by definition. Some of the believers (typically Protestants) are probably going to believe that the texts contain within them all the information that's necessary for salvation. Other believers such as Roman or Orthodox Catholics might believe that their church's divinely-guided tradition is necessary as well as the Bible.
I don't interpret the word "God" to mean a literal God, it could just as well refer to natural processes that the authors of the Bible did not yet understand.
Why can't a Christian "pick and choose which part of the bible is or is not okay to take literal"?
Because it could lead to events like the, Crusades and Holocaust. Those are two prime examples on why you can’t “pick and choose”.
Yes. However, I do believe it is God All Mighty. You will see exactly what I mean by that one day.
Can God kill himself?
Most likely. However, why would he?
To prove that he isn't omnipotent? Because as soon as he kills himself, he can no longer do anything, thus, not omnipotent. If he cannot kill himself, then that also proves he is not omnipotent. Thus the concept of an omnipotent god disproves itself.
He didn't kill himself lol. He can if he chooses, but he won't need to, because he has unlimited power to make things how wants them. Me too, btw.
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