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Old 11-02-2001, 09:43 PM   #1
nerv111
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Question Rationalizing Contradictions???

I cannot seem to comprehend how some theists can ignore or rationalize the contradictions that exist within their “holy” texts. Recently I had a discussion with a Christian in my psychology class, I pointed out some Biblical absurdities and contradictions (I even sited the passages), she refused to accept that they were in the Bible and when I attempted to show them to her, she refused to allow me to do so. Once she finally did look them up, I got the classic response of “but you’re taking it out of context.”

Their unfailing capacity to believe what they prefer to be true, rather that what the evidence show it to be has always astounded me… Could anyone offer any insight as to why some religious people behave like this?

[ November 02, 2001: Message edited by: nerv111 ]
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Old 11-02-2001, 10:05 PM   #2
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For most apparent scriptural contradictions (internal contradictions and false-to-fact statements), one is not actually taking them out of context, but failing to supply a context that reconciles them.

The only coherent theistic position wrt the bible is that it is not authoritative: Personal "revelation" is prior to and authoritative over scripture. But once it admitted that one must supply a context to understand scripture, then scripture necessarily loses its objective authority, because it is dependent on subjective interpretation.

The theist who claims the authority of scripture is really claiming the authority of his or her subjective interpretation of scripture. Believing a book of mythology is bad enough. Believing that only one person can "correctly" read an interpret a book is ludicrous.
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Old 11-03-2001, 04:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by nerv111:
<STRONG>I cannot seem to comprehend how some theists can ignore or rationalize the contradictions that exist within their “holy” texts.
</STRONG>

how about some examples.

{{ OT comments deleted - SD, see RRP }}

[ November 03, 2001: Message edited by: SingleDad ]
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Old 11-03-2001, 05:21 AM   #4
livius drusus
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jesus Freak:
<STRONG>how about some examples.</STRONG>
{{ OT comments deleted and quote adjusted - SD, see RRP }}

If it's biblical contraditions you want, there are entire sites dedicated to the topic and from the Secular Web library, which you have obviously not spent one second perusing before indulging publicly in your violent fantasies, there's a nice list of contradictions.

Enjoy.

[ November 03, 2001: Message edited by: SingleDad ]
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Old 11-03-2001, 07:56 AM   #5
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Much of this thread was moved to Rationalizing Contradictions??? in the Rants, Raves, Preaching, Etc. forum.
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Old 11-04-2001, 01:23 PM   #6
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Nerv111
Perhaps it is possible for Christians to feel the same frustrations you are feeling when they pose seemingly satisfactory responses to alleged contradictions in the Bible. Or is it impossible for Christians to *know* how you feel?
Botkin
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Old 11-04-2001, 05:41 PM   #7
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Botkin --

Just because you find an explanation satisfying doesn't mean I necessarily do. In fact, I agree with Nerv that Christian rationalizations aren't very satisfying.
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Old 11-04-2001, 06:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by botkin:
<STRONG>Nerv111
Perhaps it is possible for Christians to feel the same frustrations you are feeling when they pose seemingly satisfactory responses to alleged contradictions in the Bible. Or is it impossible for Christians to *know* how you feel?
Botkin</STRONG>

Given enough time and creative effort, I could think up explanations for every alleged contradiction and inconsistency in episodes of Gilligan's Island. Most people don't bother to do so because they find it perfectly reasonable that there will be contradictions and inconsistencies in the different episodes of a tv series because the scripts are often written by different authors, who are obviously not perfect.

Only when it comes to people's religious scriptures do they try to rationalize these contradictions and inconsistencies. Is it any wonder that atheists find this behavior puzzling?
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Old 11-05-2001, 05:11 PM   #9
nerv111
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Originally posted by Echo:
Quote:
Only when it comes to people's religious scriptures do they try to rationalize these contradictions and inconsistencies. Is it any wonder that atheists find this behavior puzzling?
Not only that, most theists aren’t even aware of the contradictions that exist within their religious texts. I have encountered only a few select Christians who have genuinely attempted (with little success IMHO) to explain the contradictions, most just choose to ignore them (after all ignorance is bliss).

Their ignorance of their own religion is astounding; I can somewhat see why they attempt to rationalize the contradictions (the ones they are aware of anyway), but what I find even more mind-boggling is that some theists cannot at all see the existence of the contradictions even if you clearly point them out. These theists have no need for rationalization, they cannot even accept the existence of the contradictions in the first place.

[ November 05, 2001: Message edited by: nerv111 ]
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Old 11-05-2001, 05:32 PM   #10
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Originally posted by botkin:
Quote:
Nerv111
Perhaps it is possible for Christians to feel the same frustrations you are feeling when they pose seemingly satisfactory responses to alleged contradictions in the Bible. Or is it impossible for Christians to *know* how you feel?
Botkin
That is possible (as is anything, of course). But nevertheless, the fact that these responses are satisfactory to them dose not do away with the contradictions. If they came up with a logical and reasonable explanation for the contradictions I would concede; but the fact that the explanations they create for themselves vary from person to person and often are completely illogical is a clear sigh that they cannot do away with the contradictions, therefore their only resorts are either to rationalize the contradictions or to completely ignore them.
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