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Old 11-17-2001, 08:31 AM   #51
Wyrdsmyth
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Originally posted by Douglas J. Bender: <STRONG>People are just either too lazy, or too opposed to the Bible, to see it or seriously look for it.</STRONG>
I think it's the other way around. Most believers I know don't actually read the Bible, but rather rely on oral teaching, sermons and so forth -- the filtered version of interpretation.

When you actually read the Bible for yourself, you begin to see it for what (I think) it really is -- a progression of ancient creation myths, idealized tribal history, and the evolution of the god idea, esp. from polytheism to monotheism.

My advice is to not only read the Bible for yourself, but also take some ancient history courses. Read up on ancient religions of Babylonia, Sumeria, Orphism, and philosophies by the likes of Plotinus. It will open your eyes.

Don't just put your faith in authoritative-sounding radio show hosts or charismatic ministers who seem confident in themselves. Don't take my word for things, either. Read for yourself.

[ November 17, 2001: Message edited by: Wyrdsmyth ]
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Old 11-17-2001, 09:22 AM   #52
aikido7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wyrdsmyth:
<STRONG>

I think it's the other way around. Most believers I know don't actually read the Bible, but rather rely on oral teaching, sermons and so forth -- the filtered version of interpretation.</STRONG>
So true! Bible study is actually "studying the Bible!" I can get so frustrated with apologists when it is evident they merely string together verses heard from the pulpit and fashion up some elaborate theological dogma to keep the curious intellect out.

The whole enterprise really shows how "obedience" is a sign of weakness, not strength.

[ November 17, 2001: Message edited by: aikido7 ]
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Old 11-17-2001, 07:02 PM   #53
Deathscyth Hell
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wyrdsmyth:
[QB]

I think it's the other way around. Most believers I know don't actually read the Bible, but rather rely on oral teaching, sermons and so forth -- the filtered version of interpretation.

When you actually read the Bible for yourself, you begin to see it for what (I think) it really is -- a progression of ancient creation myths, idealized tribal history, and the evolution of the god idea, esp. from polytheism to monotheism.
Thats funny, because I have been studying the bible for over 10 years and have come up with something similar. These Progressions of ancient creation "myths" that you talk of are very similar throughout different religions. As for changing from Polytheism to monotheism, many religions in the ancient ME during the time of Ancient Israel had their pantheons growing in number, not contracting. Babylon, Egypt, and many other nations adopted several of the Gods of the peoples that they conquered. Sounds more like an expansion of Polytheism then a move to monotheism to me.

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My advice is to not only read the Bible for yourself, but also take some ancient history courses. Read up on ancient religions of Babylonia, Sumeria, Orphism, and philosophies by the likes of Plotinus. It will open your eyes.
I have been doing some of that, studying some of the ancient civilizations. We covered some of their religion, but not as much as I wanted to. I get to take a Philosophy class next semester.

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Don't just put your faith in authoritative-sounding radio show hosts or charismatic ministers who seem confident in themselves. Don't take my word for things, either. Read for yourself.
I don't, im not overly fond of Radio show hosts. Charismatic Ministers might know what they are talking about though. It depends on whether they have a good education, and have done a lot of studying, especially in exegisis. Have YOU done any Exegisis study on the bible? I have a tendency to trust my own minister for 2 reasons.
1. He has many degrees from different universities ranging from a Bacholers in Psychology to a PH.d in Ministry, and he has attended many good seminars from some of the leading theological schools in the nation.

2. He is also my dad.

Although, yes, there are many ministers that I would not listen to, and none that I know of that I would not do a little research myself to verify.
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Old 11-22-2001, 01:22 PM   #54
lpetrich
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Tercel:
What precisely qualifies as "meat" and what support would you expect to find outside the Bible? It seems to me you are engaging in some very strange logic by demanding support to be provided on a subject which you conviently define to be that part of the Bible which is by nature unsupportable.

LP:
Support such as an account by someone being acquainted with Jesus Christ and describing his activities, while showing some critical sense. If JC had been as famous as the Gospels describe him has being, then there ought to be at least one outside source closer than Josephus.

Tercel, consider this analogy. Do you totally trust what the Church of Scientology says about its founder, L. Ron Hubbard? If you are to believe the biography of him at http://www.scientology.org , he had been an absolutely wonderful and talented person.

Tercel:
The whole idea of finding support "outside the Bible" is flawed at anyrate because if there did exist other authorative accounts of what happened then they would be in the Bible. ...

LP:
LOL. Somehow, I doubt that critical accounts are likely to find their way into hagiographies, which is what the Gospels are. If you believe that the CoS's biography of LRH is a hagiography, then you might be willing to consider that about the Gospels.

Tercel:
No. I think you misunderstand by thinking that it does. Subscribing to belief in Christianity does not involve signing your brain away.

LP:
Except that leaving one's brain at the church door (metaphorically, of course), seems all too common.

MOJO-JOJO:
Christians can not even agree on what they are SUPPOSE to believe.

Tercel:
That's hardly suprising given that we're human. Scientists can't agree on their explainations of sub-atomic physics either. Doesn't make science as a whole wrong or mean scientists are stupid, does it?

LP:
Which is a natural result of research being a work in progress, instead of some revelation from On High, which is what the Bible is supposed to be.

Tercel:
I've already been here 8 months. I'm not impressed by most of the papers in the Secular Web library: Those that don't contain blatent fallacies or straw men generally contain large amounts of unsound reasoning or misguided conclusions.

LP:
Then describe them for us.

Tercel:
Why do people insist on comparing Christian belief to mythical creatures? ...

LP:
Because that's what it seems like to those who reject it. Tercel, consider what you believe about the entities of other religions.

Tercel:
Actually it is quite debatable whether very many people really believed in the Greco-Roman Gods or whether they merely saw religion as an important institution in society. ...

LP:
If you are talking about those among them who liked to write books, there is something to be said for that -- many of them apparently did not believe in the literal truth of their society's religion, and some of them had written expressions of skepticism that are now classic. However, a common view was that the masses must be doped with a superstitious variety of religion to make them virtuous, that they must be frightened into virtue with imaginary cosmic bogeypeople.

And one can ask whether many professed Christians seriously believe in the Christian Heaven, because they don't turn funerals into celebrations or have "See you in Heaven" as typical last words.

Consider who had the most faith in life after death in the September 11 kamikaze hijackings -- those hijackers, judging from a letter found in their luggage. They talked about how if they succeeded in their mission, that they'd be waking up in the Muslim Paradise, meaning that they'll be welcomed in that beautiful place by some very nice ladies who will become their new wives and that they'll get to meet lots of Muslim heroes and prophets.

And even the original kamikaze pilots had shown clearer faith; they'd sometimes say "See you in Yasukuni" or "I'm going to Yasukuni" before their missions, referring to the belief that they'd get to join Japan's other war dead in haunting Japan's war memorial, the Yasukuni Shrine.
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Old 11-22-2001, 01:39 PM   #55
lpetrich
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LP earlier:
Tercel, has it ever occurred to you that Pascal's Wager can be used to support creeds other than yours? Seriously.

Tercel:
Of course. It can be used to support any belief where a given alternative to that belief is unbeneficial.

LP:
Which is a confession of its worthlessness.

LP earlier:
Here's what might be called Ibn Baskal's version:

If you accept that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammed is his prophet, and Islam is true, you will get to live like a sultan in a luxurious oasis estate when you die, complete with having a harem of 72 lovelies. If not, then you won't be any worse off.

Tercel:
No, he's falling for the wrong hell fallacy in his last sentence: "If not, then you won't be any worse off". I might well be worse off if I believe in Islam rather than Christianity and end up in the Christian Hell because of it...

LP:
But according to the Ibn Baskal version, one risks going to the Muslim Hell for believing in Christianity, so to be safe, one ought to believe in Islam. And according to Islam, Hell will include
  • Being shackled and chained in place
  • Having clothes of superhot fire
  • Being beaten with iron rods
  • Having boiling water poured down one's throat
While Paradise will include
  • Lots and lots and lots of water
  • Lush gardens
  • Rivers of milk and honey and non-intoxicating wine
  • Luscious fruits
  • Nice rugs and couches and pillows
  • Lots of cute preteen servant boys
  • Lots of ravishingly beautiful ladies to be your new wives

Tercel:
He would be better to present the argument as Islam vs Atheism. In that case it would be sound, and the argument provides a reasonable motive for believing Islam as opposed to Atheism. (The same as Pascal's Wager does for Christianity. Pascal wasn't stupid you know.)

LP:
One can imagine that there is some impersonal law of karma which will punish those who believe in some religion, meaning that it would be safest to be an atheist.

There is a whole universe of possibilities, many of which are unfavorable to typical Pascalians.
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