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Old 07-29-2001, 09:44 AM   #21
SingleDad
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The existence of this forum, especially its separation from "Existence of God(s)" testifies to the degree of historical, literary and cultural importance to which many of our members hold the JC Bible.

It is easy for a lifelong atheist such as myself to simply declare fundamentalists outside the boundries of reason and entirely immune to rational argumentation. However, the internal contradictions and absurdities of the JC Bible have indeed deconverted many fundamentalist christians, including some of our own members such as Donald Morgan, PhysicsGuy, sentinel00 and others.

Both a careful and scientific analyses of religious literature to understand historical fact and savage and uncompromising attacks on the rationality and sensibility of the JC Bible's theology and philosophy are legitimate and, in my opinion, very important.

We have created the various forums here to facilitate and separate these very different classes of argumentation.

[ July 29, 2001: Message edited by: SingleDad ]
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Old 07-29-2001, 10:14 AM   #22
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Quote:
lpetrich - congratulations! You have issued a devastating critique of the Book of Jonah! Indeed, it is impossible for a man to be swallowed by a fish and survive for three days! The entire book is hence utterly worthless!
You have overstated lpetrich's claim. Nowhere does he state that the book is "entirely useless", only that it contains fantasy elements which argue against the book's historicity.

Although he does not make the claim explicitly, a more charitable interpretation of his comment is that Jonah cannot be considered literal historical documentation; extrinsic interpretation and corroboration are necessary to extract historical value from this text.

Quote:
I myself have discovered some disturbing ahistorical elements in the following documents: the Iliad, Le Chanson de Roland, Richard III, A Christmas Carol, Metamorphosis. It is my understanding that many of these were authored by famous individuals! Richard III for example by W. Shakespeare!!! I will purge these from my shelves immediately!
And indeed, for that reason none of these texts can be accepted literally for purposes of historical documentation. Again, one must employ extrinsic techniques on these texts to illuminate actual historical fact.

As a note on protocol, it is valuable on a message board to apply the criterion of charitable interpretation to other members' comments; posts here are generally made hastily (relative to academic journals), and open ridicule of an uncharitable interpretation does little but generate enmity.

Unless some bizarre interpretation is unmistakably evident, it is more graceful and productive to assume the more reasonable interpretation, or merely to ask for clarification if there is unresolvable ambiguity.

[ July 29, 2001: Message edited by: SingleDad ]
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Old 07-29-2001, 11:09 AM   #23
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Apikorius, I think that some of the ex-fundamentalists here would disagree with you when you say that pointing out contradictions won't change people's minds. Sure it won't change some minds, but it clearly has an effect. There are many ex-fundamentalists here whose faith was shattered because the "explanations" to contradictions were bad. So, I still have to disagree when you say there is no value in exposing contradictions.

We need to take fundamentalists seriously as the social force that they are and combat them by any means necessary. As shown by the many ex-fundamentalists here, exposing contradictions is one (of many) strategies to defeat them.
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Old 07-29-2001, 02:28 PM   #24
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It may well be that adducing biblical contradictions and absurdities is of some avail in arguments with fundamentalists. But it appears that noone in this thread has yet made the case for a literal interpretation of the bible. Until the need to engage in such medieval debate arises, perhaps we could elevate the level of discussion beyond this sort of facile exercise. The Book of Jonah happens to be a masterpiece - full of subtlety and irony.
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Old 07-29-2001, 04:22 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Le pede:
<STRONG>Apikorius, I think that some of the ex-fundamentalists here would disagree with you when you say that pointing out contradictions won't change people's minds. Sure it won't change some minds, but it clearly has an effect. There are many ex-fundamentalists here whose faith was shattered because the "explanations" to contradictions were bad. So, I still have to disagree when you say there is no value in exposing contradictions.

We need to take fundamentalists seriously as the social force that they are and combat them by any means necessary. As shown by the many ex-fundamentalists here, exposing contradictions is one (of many) strategies to defeat them.</STRONG>
Le pede,
An excellent post, thank you.
How often in human history has our apathy
contributed to terrible consequences and the oppression of our fellow humans?
How many times have you heard
non-theists say " I dont believe any of this religious crap. If the fundies want to believe in some non-existant supernatural
God thats their problem, as long as they dont try to preach to me, I dont care."

Or " You cant change a fundies mind, so why even try?"

Or "These people are so far gone they cant see the forest for the trees".

Or the big one, "they cant change anything anyway , the constitution of the United States protects our rights as non-theists."

Maybe we cant change their minds, maybe they are to brainwashed to see any objectionable
material in the Christian doctrines, but they are not in the minority in this country.
We are..........

To understand the mind of the fundamentalist
you must "get into the trenches with them".
I understand that this is probably not the exact forum for this conversation, but there is a growing "born again" fundamentalist
influence in this country.

The new administration was elected primarily
on the "Christian" vote.
They have used the Christian belief system to gain political power.
It is absolutely beside the point what Bush actually believes, he was elected on what he SAYS he believes, and the political backlash
created by the "evil sexcapades" of the last administration.

Christian fundamentalists all over this country extoll the "Holy" virtues of this new administration.
This is a dangerous thing.

Remember that the Catholic church was a supporter of Hitler, and he was convinced
that he was engaged in a "Holy War" against the infidels.

Even if we can only throw up the contridictions we find in Biblical text as a
criticism of Christianity and theism as a whole, we must make that effort.

Or we will condemn our childrens children, to a terrible fate, simply because of our apathy and disbelief that fundamentalism
cannot survive because it is illogical.

I think we all know that history is chocked
full of illogical terrors.

I am not a scholar, I am not a expert in any scientific discipline, I cant read 5 different languages, but what I can do is to continually be a thorn in the sides of these pious christians by pointing out the inconsistances, unlikely premises, lies and deceptions of this book called "the Holy Bible".

And at least I will not bow to the mind-numbing, logic twisting, semantic gymnastics
of the Fundamentalist and evangelicals that would try to enslave my family with mythology and superstition.
&lt;Stepping Down from the soapbox&gt;
Wolf
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Old 08-07-2001, 10:33 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Apikorus:
<STRONG>I must say that while I find religious fundamentalism to be absurd, I also have little regard for those who loudly and provocatively denigrate the bible as a "pack of lies"...

So to those who read the Bible critically because they are intrigued by its complexity, I say "bravo, let us discuss!" To those whose only interest lies in uncovering contradictions or adducing objectionable passages just so they can twit the religious, I say "get a life!"</STRONG>
Well put! I couldn't agree more.

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Old 08-09-2001, 12:12 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Le pede:
<STRONG>Well, Apikorus, I have to disagree with one of your points. You suggest that those who try to find contradictions should "get a life." I don't know if you read Newsweek, but two or three issues back it said some estimated that born again Christians are the fastest growing religious group in the US. With growing born again Christianity comes born again political power for the far right. In the US, religion is politics. So we have to combat that which is not just a religious force, but a socio-political one.

Now I do agree that the Bible has immense value for the reasons you stated. Additionally, I think that the Bible has "spiritual" value for even nontheists. Many of the teachings of the Bible are quite wise--Ecclesiastes for instance, and many Proverbs. Many things that Paul and Jesus said should be considered. Maybe the best philosophy sometimes is to "turn the other cheek..." Maybe we really are "nothing" if we don't show love for one another (1 Cor 11).</STRONG>
Yea, religion is political, like anything esle. But you wont stop the fundies by coming up with a lot of lame contradictions in the Bible. What you should be doing is supporting liberal chruches and trying to steer people in the direction of liberal Christian outlook.

Is the Bible The Word of God?
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Old 08-09-2001, 02:02 AM   #28
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The quran changes the Arab and bring the islamic civilization which trigger renaisance . without that you will be in a middle age era.
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