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Old 06-12-2001, 09:41 PM   #51
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hubjones:
The only thing I have to say about this is that if they ate from the tree, commited an evil act, and knew it was evil after they did it, then that would mean that evil was present to begin with. I guess I'm saying that God (alleging its existence) is the source of the evil.</font>
I think there are two main opinions that can be taken on what "evil" is. Either "evil" is a substance of somesort or it is a quality of an action. My opinion is that it is the latter. In my opinion (and this is a fairly traditional Christian opinion) an action is evil or good as far as it accords with the will of God. ie I define "evil" as not acting in accordance with the will of God. Of course you will note that by this definition God cannot possibly perform any evil act - so of course it follows that God is "good".
Thus Adam and Eve performed an evil action by eating the fruit - God told them not to do it, but they did. Is God the source of the evil? Not really. However it is true without God there could be no evil (by definition).
How are we supposed to know what God's will is?
I'm not normally into quoting a Bible passage related to every argument, but I think I'll make an exception here. See Romans 2:12-16. The Law was the revelation to the Jews of God's will.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">My reasoning for saying that is well explained with this analogy: You can't know what extreme brightness is unless you know what extreme darkness is. A contrast is necessary for one to exist. Without the other, there isn't the first.</font>
Since this is almost exactly the same analogy as I considered giving earlier to explain the situation, I'll take it that you understand.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">"Huh? I thought you were an atheist? How can you "believe we only do what we were made to do to begin with"?"

Well, look who's making the assumptions now. I'm actually an agnostic. You might even call me a weak agnostic (because I believe in the possibility of anything). I think there is a spiritual realm, however, I don't believe we know anything about it. This would be my explanation for the world's religions (different roads to the end of the rainbow). Also, as to whether or not this alleged spiritual realm is supernatural or not, I would say not. But my agnosticism allows me to say with certainty that I don't know and I probably never will.</font>
Sorry, -I normally group agnostics under the term atheists, I probably shouldn't do this.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Well, we both have opinions on the matter. Why should religion be hard to understand? It's hard enough trying to live with and understand evil people in the world, do beliefs have to be the same way?</font>
By all scientific accounts the real world is extremely complex. If religion was simple then I'd be afraid it wasn't real. Christianity has plenty of quirks to satisfy me.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Science minded huh? I'm assuming (and I think correctly) that you are a "moralist" when it comes to religion (if there is a such word as that) and a realist on the matter of science. That's cool.</font>
If I knew what you meant by either of those I might be able to agree.

"WIP"
What does this mean?

-Tercel
 
Old 06-13-2001, 08:22 PM   #52
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Tercel,

I'll start with what I meant at the end of my last post.

"quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Science minded huh? I'm assuming (and I think correctly) that you are a "moralist" when it comes to religion (if there is a such word as that) and a realist on the matter of science. That's cool.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If I knew what you meant by either of those I might be able to agree.
"WIP"
What does this mean?"

moralist- one who leads a moral life; a thinker/writer concerned with morals; one concerned with regulating the morals of others (from Webster)

And a realist is basically someone who is into truth, or at least making a rational assumption about something with strong evidence. That's what I meant by the two terms.

WIP= Walk in Peace

Now for the rest.

"I think there are two main opinions that can be taken on what "evil" is. Either "evil" is a substance of somesort or it is a quality of an action. My opinion is that it is the latter. In my opinion (and this is a fairly traditional Christian opinion) an action is evil or good as far as it accords with the will of God. ie I define "evil" as not acting in accordance with the will of God. Of course you will note that by this definition God cannot possibly perform any evil act - so of course it follows that God is "good".
Thus Adam and Eve performed an evil action by eating the fruit - God told them not to do it, but they did. Is God the source of the evil? Not really. However it is true without God there could be no evil (by definition).
How are we supposed to know what God's will is?
I'm not normally into quoting a Bible passage related to every argument, but I think I'll make an exception here. See Romans 2:12-16. The Law was the revelation to the Jews of God's will."

Well, I guess what you are saying is that whatever God's will is can't be evil. But that is a very troubling statement based on the fact that, as you just said, if it weren't for God, there would be no evil. One could gather that evil is good based on what you are saying because God is the source of the evil (not unless God isn't all-good). But from what I gather from the verses you prescribed, this is a man talking. How does one really know if it is the word of God (as my Christianity teacher claims it is)? There are many verses in the bible that say many things. There are also many people who claim to be servants and "Christs" of God. This is why I am agnostic: because I don't believe ANY man ever has or ever will explain 1. God's existence or 2. God's will (and in that will, why is it necessary that the will of this deity be good?).

"By all scientific accounts the real world is extremely complex. If religion was simple then I'd be afraid it wasn't real. Christianity has plenty of quirks to satisfy me."

It is what you make it to be. Remember, these are claims of men; are you sure they aren't false prophets feeding you lies based on something they knew they could get away with (that is, religion and false facts)?

Well, that's all for now. I'll debate with you later.

WIP (you got it now),

hubj.

 
Old 06-13-2001, 08:30 PM   #53
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"Sorry, -I normally group agnostics under the term atheists, I probably shouldn't do this. "

The atheist either 1. doesn't believe in God or 2. believes that there is no God.

The agnostic (at the core) simply has no knowledge as to the existence of any deity. This has nothing to do with beliefs, however. Agnostics could still classify themselves as theists or atheists and remain true to agnosticism.

In actuality, agnosticism encompasses both theism and atheism because neither side knows how to prove their claims beyond refutation. Agnosticism could probably be refuted.

But please don't confuse agnosticism and atheism, and never classify them as being the same thing. They obviously aren't. (atheism is a belief, agnosticism is a lack of knowledge)

Hope that cleared it up.

later.

[This message has been edited by hubjones (edited June 14, 2001).]
 
Old 06-16-2001, 03:20 AM   #54
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hubjones:
moralist- one who leads a moral life; a thinker/writer concerned with morals; one concerned with regulating the morals of others (from Webster)</font>
Well... I think morals are good. Does that count?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">And a realist is basically someone who is into truth, or at least making a rational assumption about something with strong evidence. That's what I meant by the two terms.</font>
Yes, I'm one of these.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Well, I guess what you are saying is that whatever God's will is can't be evil. But that is a very troubling statement based on the fact that, as you just said, if it weren't for God, there would be no evil. One could gather that evil is good based on what you are saying because God is the source of the evil (not unless God isn't all-good).</font>
? I thought I made it simple. Given the definition I gave of evil (which I grant is not necessarily the usual one): By this definition God is all-good and not evil in any way whatsoever, and if God didn't exist then good and evil wouldn't exist either.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">But from what I gather from the verses you prescribed, this is a man talking. How does one really know if it is the word of God (as my Christianity teacher claims it is)? There are many verses in the bible that say many things. There are also many people who claim to be servants and "Christs" of God.</font>
I don't. I do not believe that every word in the Bible is personally written by God - it's all written by errant, fallible humans.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Remember, these are claims of men; are you sure they aren't false prophets feeding you lies based on something they knew they could get away with (that is, religion and false facts)?</font>
In general I don't believe they are... I am a Christian you know. But exactly which men are you talking about and what claims?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Agnostics could still classify themselves as theists or atheists and remain true to agnosticism.</font>
I thought an agnostic was someone who says "I don't know" (or sometimes the stupid "nobody knows")? How can someone who doesn't know be classified as a theist or an atheist? (Ignoring me who classifies agnostics as atheists )

-Tercel
 
Old 06-16-2001, 08:46 AM   #55
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Tercel,

"Well... I think morals are good. Does that count?"

Yes. I agree with that as well.


"? I thought I made it simple. Given the definition I gave of evil (which I grant is not necessarily the usual one): By this definition God is all-good and not evil in any way whatsoever, and if God didn't exist then good and evil wouldn't exist either."

This goes right back to what I just said. Evil has to be good if God is omni-benevolent. God is the source of good and evil, so evil, as far as God is concerned (based on the biblical interpretation), is good. No way out of it. (unless you say that God didn't create evil, and I know better than that.)

"I don't. I do not believe that every word in the Bible is personally written by God - it's all written by errant, fallible humans."

Well I'm happy to know that you feel that the Bible should be taken with a grain of salt. You see that it is what it is; a Book like any other, written by men for a (supposed) moral purpose.

"But exactly which men are you talking about and what claims?"

I'm refering to ALL MEN who have ever made claims about something being true. (ie- many religious leaders, Governments, etc.). I can't go into the claims in detail because there are far too many; however, one, for example, would be (as far as I'm concerned) the New Testament. The writers claimed that the Christ has come and has spoken to people and done things, etc. I don't believe that for a number of reasons including 1. the NT has a tendency to read just like mythology (see Matt.1) 2.there are many books from the NT that are missing (why would they be missing if they didn't have something to hide) and 3. the Greeks had written mythology before, so I have no reason to believe they couldn't have pulled it off again.

"I thought an agnostic was someone who says "I don't know" (or sometimes the stupid "nobody knows")? How can someone who doesn't know be classified as a theist or an atheist? (Ignoring me who classifies agnostics as atheists )"

How you ask? OK, remember, agnosticism has to do with basic knowledge. You can assume things and still not really know (I'm sure you've done that in you past). Agnostic can be used as an adjective (ie- FROZEN tomatoes, etc.). Theists and atheists have beliefs, but neither side really knows with 100% certainty. The agnostic just makes a claim not to know, but that is no reason that an agnostic can't also be a theist (ie- Christian) or an atheist. I guess I'm saying that agnosticism is a concept (as I've heard before), but it can be used with a belief. I am one because I like to think that I am in some way open-minded.

Later.

hubj.

[This message has been edited by hubjones (edited June 16, 2001).]
 
Old 06-23-2001, 10:40 PM   #56
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Sorry about the delay in replying. I should have plenty of time over the next couple of weeks though.
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hubjones:
Tercel: I thought I made it simple. Given the definition I gave of evil (which I grant is not necessarily the usual one): By this definition God is all-good and not evil in any way whatsoever, and if God didn't exist then good and evil wouldn't exist either."

HJ: This goes right back to what I just said. Evil has to be good if God is omni-benevolent. God is the source of good and evil, so evil, as far as God is concerned (based on the biblical interpretation), is good. No way out of it. (unless you say that God didn't create evil, and I know better than that.)</font>
I still have to disagree. I don't think either of Good or Evil can be said to have a "source" as such. Of course I say that God didn't create evil, just as good and evil don't have a source - neither do they get "created".

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Tercel: I don't. I do not believe that every word in the Bible is personally written by God - it's all written by errant, fallible humans.

HJ: Well I'm happy to know that you feel that the Bible should be taken with a grain of salt. You see that it is what it is; a Book like any other, written by men for a (supposed) moral purpose.</font>
I don't feel that it should be taken with a grain of salt at all - I think it is the single most important book in the entire world. But it is written by humans, humans make mistakes. Therefore the Bible is flawed and errant. What do I think of God for this?
Glory to Him who's love is so great that he gives revelation of His glory to falliable, flawed humans and allow their corrupting influence near it!
You see there are about 10,000 leagues of middle ground between the extreme faith of "inerrancy" and the extreme faith of "the Bible should be taken with a grain of salt". I purposely use the words "extreme faith" (in case you didn't notice) to describe both positions - because that is effectively what I believe they are. There are some contradictions in the Bible. But "some contradictions" is in no way whatsoever remotely equal in a million years to "complete rubbish" or "mostly wrong" or even "generally myth". In having the beliefs you do about the Bible you go just as far beyond the evidence as you claim the Biblical innerrantists do. In fact, I have far more respect for their position (I believe they are silly) than yours.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The writers claimed that the Christ has come and has spoken to people and done things, etc. I don't believe that for a number of reasons including 1. the NT has a tendency to read just like mythology (see Matt.1)</font>
I am suspicious as to the historical truth of a few events in Matthew. Yet the Gospel of Luke appears extremely hardheaded, historical and as far from mythology as possible. (It does of course include miracles but to classify it therefore as mythology would beg the question in a rather serious way) I find that the greatest use to me of Matthew is its extensive recordings of the sayings of Jesus.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">2.there are many books from the NT that are missing (why would they be missing if they didn't have something to hide)</font>
Novel. Care to elaborate this problem of missing books? What books are missing and how do we know they are missing if we don't have them?
The only "missing books" I'm aware of are a few of Paul's letters which mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament, hardly a concerning amount.
Why does the major destructions of Christian writings by the Romans not sufficiently explain the missing books?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">3. the Greeks had written mythology before, so I have no reason to believe they couldn't have pulled it off again.</font>
So what we are dealing with is a massive conspiracy between both Greeks and Jews who rebel against their traditional religions but at the same time accept the Jewish traditional religious books as authoritive, make up a whole lot of mythology then subsequently hide the "missing" books and get persecuted for their made up beliefs.
I can't think of a suitable sarcastic comment, but I'm sure you get my drift already.

-Tercel
 
Old 06-24-2001, 09:32 AM   #57
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Tercel,

Glad you came back. I find discussions with you to be quite entertaining.

"I still have to disagree. I don't think either of Good or Evil can be said to have a "source" as such. Of course I say that God didn't create evil, just as good and evil don't have a source - neither do they get "created". "

So are you saying that God is neither? God just is. OK, I'll take that. Of course, you'll have to discontinue saying that God is omni-benevolent. And you know as well as I that God takes credit for good as well as evil (see Isa. 45). Call it calamity or whatever, it sure as hell isn't good.

"I don't feel that it should be taken with a grain of salt at all - I think it is the single most important book in the entire world. But it is written by humans, humans make mistakes. Therefore the Bible is flawed and errant. What do I think of God for this?
Glory to Him who's love is so great that he gives revelation of His glory to falliable, flawed humans and allow their corrupting influence near it!"

Thank you for that heart-felt statement. Funny how you take the word of a book you claim to have error as being a definite revelation of the truth. Of God's love (of course, your God seems very human-like; requires too much too for you not to be able to see it directly).


"You see there are about 10,000 leagues of middle ground between the extreme faith of "inerrancy" and the extreme faith of "the Bible should be taken with a grain of salt". I purposely use the words "extreme faith" (in case you didn't notice) to describe both positions - because that is effectively what I believe they are. There are some contradictions in the Bible. But "some contradictions" is in no way whatsoever remotely equal in a million years to "complete rubbish" or "mostly wrong" or even "generally myth". In having the beliefs you do about the Bible you go just as far beyond the evidence as you claim the Biblical innerrantists do. In fact, I have far more respect for their position (I believe they are silly) than yours."

Well, being that I haven't been doing this for very long, I'll just accept that one. However, I am not saying the Bible is false because of science (even though I could), but I am saying it because of the Bible itself. So basically, your position takes hold of the best mythology. I'm curious to know if you like Greek Mythology better than Roman Mythology. As far as respecting my position, so what? I find your position to be somewhat irrational. You're talking about a God. It's not like Christianity was the first religion to use the God concept. And you say you respect people who believe a 2000 year old piece of mythological history more than me, a person who tries to investigate what it says? Well, I would expect that from you anyway, so I won't complain.

"Novel. Care to elaborate this problem of missing books? What books are missing and how do we know they are missing if we don't have them?
The only "missing books" I'm aware of are a few of Paul's letters which mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament, hardly a concerning amount.
Why does the major destructions of Christian writings by the Romans not sufficiently explain the missing books?"

There are quite a few, actually. I am not in a position to go into detail on it, but if you look on the web, you can get a descent start. Muslims even talk about them. They're not hard to find though. Plus, there was a council out when the Bible (as it is now) was put together that decided what books would and wouldn't go in (got that from an inerrantist). This council decided what books were and weren't the word of God (as if they talked to God or something). But that's all I can say about it.

"So what we are dealing with is a massive conspiracy between both Greeks and Jews who rebel against their traditional religions but at the same time accept the Jewish traditional religious books as authoritive, make up a whole lot of mythology then subsequently hide the "missing" books and get persecuted for their made up beliefs.
I can't think of a suitable sarcastic comment, but I'm sure you get my drift already."

If I could believe in a three in one God that requires worship even though it made me and everything else and requires me to love it even though it won't allow me to see it and tells me what right and wrong regardless of whether or not I agree, then we would have nothing to debate about, would we? And I find your precious little book to be as hypocritical as those who believe in it. C'mon, you're going to be good and believe in God because you don't want to go to hell? And you say you respect inerrantist more than me. You never cease to amaze me Tercel.


hubj.-
 
Old 06-24-2001, 06:32 PM   #58
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">"I still have to disagree. I don't think either of Good or Evil can be said to have a "source" as such. Of course I say that God didn't create evil, just as good and evil don't have a source - neither do they get "created". "

So are you saying that God is neither? God just is. OK, I'll take that. Of course, you'll have to discontinue saying that God is omni-benevolent.</font>
~sigh~. I'm not saying that God is neither, I'm saying that God is good. And that evil and good do not have "sources" and are not "created" because they are qualities not substances. I'm not sure I'd use "benevolent" to describe God - it smacks of "nice" too much - God is not "nice". He is terribly good and earth-shatteringly loving, but not "nice".

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">And you know as well as I that God takes credit for good as well as evil (see Isa. 45). Call it calamity or whatever, it sure as hell isn't good.</font>
God pours out punishment on the wicked. God brings upon them the destruction that they themselves sow.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Thank you for that heart-felt statement. Funny how you take the word of a book you claim to have error as being a definite revelation of the truth. Of God's love (of course, your God seems very human-like; requires too much too for you not to be able to see it directly).</font>
Your welcome. You still can't see the middle ground, can you? The Bible has some errors. So what? The vast majority of books of that length covering such topics would have many errors. The books of the Bible simply deal with the most important events in history and give insight into the nature and the actions of God.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">There are quite a few, actually. I am not in a position to go into detail on it, but if you look on the web, you can get a descent start. Muslims even talk about them. They're not hard to find though.</font>
Are you talking about the Apocryphical books. ie Religious books which didn't make the Bible? Or are you talking about the books which are mentioned but that we have no existing copies of?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Plus, there was a council out when the Bible (as it is now) was put together that decided what books would and wouldn't go in (got that from an inerrantist). This council decided what books were and weren't the word of God (as if they talked to God or something). But that's all I can say about it.</font>
Perhaps you should do some further research before discussing these things, as it appears that I know significantly more about what you're talking about than you do.
You mean the Council of Nicaea. As with any historical issue it is all quite complex, but boiling it down to the basics. The council formalised and unified the cannon throughout the Christian Church. (Up until that point Churches had no set cannon and the books that we believed to be authoritive varied - but not significantly) The council hardly went "eany meany miney mo" to choose the cannon and I think it did an extremely admirable job. There are no apocryphical books which I think deserve to be in the cannon.

"You never cease to amaze me Tercel."
I'm glad, otherwise I wouldn't be doing my job properly. The quicker you learn that you currently have an extremely minimal and misguided understanding of the Christian faith the better.
 
Old 06-25-2001, 07:18 AM   #59
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"~sigh~. I'm not saying that God is neither, I'm saying that God is good. And that evil and good do not have "sources" and are not "created" because they are qualities not substances. I'm not sure I'd use "benevolent" to describe God - it smacks of "nice" too much - God is not "nice". He is terribly good and earth-shatteringly loving, but not "nice"."

Alright. I'm reading the same Bible you're reading. If you want to believe the things about God that are in a book you say is erroneous, then fine.

"God pours out punishment on the wicked. God brings upon them the destruction that they themselves sow."

God also kills children (acording to the same scripture). Are you going to justifiy that too? And don't give me that crap about the kids going to heaven either.

"Your welcome. You still can't see the middle ground, can you? The Bible has some errors. So what? The vast majority of books of that length covering such topics would have many errors. The books of the Bible simply deal with the most important events in history and give insight into the nature and the actions of God."

OK. SO there are some errors. Why believe them to be true? If you admit there are some errors, then it must entail that there is some error to the description in which the erroneous book(s) give about God. OR at least that seems logical to me. Maybe you see something that I am unable to see.

"Are you talking about the Apocryphical books. ie Religious books which didn't make the Bible? Or are you talking about the books which are mentioned but that we have no existing copies of?"

Like I said, I am in no position to discuss in detail that which I lack knowledge of. But I would be speaking of both.

"Perhaps you should do some further research before discussing these things, as it appears that I know significantly more about what you're talking about than you do.
You mean the Council of Nicaea. As with any historical issue it is all quite complex, but boiling it down to the basics. The council formalised and unified the cannon throughout the Christian Church. (Up until that point Churches had no set cannon and the books that we believed to be authoritive varied - but not significantly) The council hardly went "eany meany miney mo" to choose the cannon and I think it did an extremely admirable job. There are no apocryphical books which I think deserve to be in the cannon."

Well, I told you my knowledge of the subject was limited. You can't burn me on something I am unaware of. You can only tell me that which I don't know. But based on what you have said, I think they did use a choice method of choosing books. There were probably books that were boring, or maybe too scary for the public. Neither one of us knows the reasons for the usage of these specific books, but I wouldn't trust a book that I considered erroneous. After all, MEN wrote it and MEN put it together. They probably debated about it as well, so it's all in the eye of the beholder.

"I'm glad, otherwise I wouldn't be doing my job properly. The quicker you learn that you currently have an extremely minimal and misguided understanding of the Christian faith the better."

Well, that is your opinion. And exactly which faith? We are just discussing your view I would presume. WHy are there so many denominations? Seems my 'minimal' view isn't really that minimal. Maybe your view is the minimal one. After all, which one of us trusts the erroneous scripture anyway?
 
Old 06-25-2001, 08:23 PM   #60
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hubjones:
Alright. I'm reading the same Bible you're reading. If you want to believe the things about God that are in a book you say is erroneous, then fine.</font>
I say that the books of the Bible contain occasional historical errors and often reflects the opinions of the writer. All attempts at writing histories are subject to the possibility of occasional historical errors. But it is still more accurate to believe what the historian says than to not believe a word because of the occasional mistake.
All writings reflect the world-views of the writers. Some (or possibly all) of the Bible writers believed that the earth was flat because that's what everyone believed at the time. Because I know this bit of their accepted knowledge to be wrong, do I then say "I'm therefore not going to believe them when they tell me what their name is or the name of the city they live in, because their writings are clearly erroneous". The "wise-men" of the ancient Jews had the idea that suffering on earth was proportional to wrong doing. (The book of Job explores this idea and disagrees) So many of the ancient writers take this idea for granted and use it in their works. But because they do this, do I then say, "This person is clearly ignorant of true theology and thus their work is erroneous and hence I'm not going to believe them when they give me details about battle X."
Of course not!
"The Bible" is a compilation of many different writings by many different writers of a period of perhaps 1500 years or more. It is hardly suprising that the understanding of God and how he works in the world held by Paul differs to the understand held by Job. The men are separated by a gulf of experience. Paul has experienced that God must care for the world because he sent his Son to die for it. Job does not know about this and to him God seems uncaring. It is simply ignorant to say "Job and Paul have different ideas of God and therefore the Bible is erroneous". The truth is much deeper.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">"God pours out punishment on the wicked. God brings upon them the destruction that they themselves sow."

God also kills children (according to the same Scripture). Are you going to justify that too? And don't give me that crap about the kids going to heaven either.</font>
Are you refering to the flood specifically or what. I suspect a good case could be made that God knew that they would grow up and follow the ways of their parents and become wicked and so it was in His mercy that he killed them. However I do not think that this is necessary.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">OK. SO there are some errors. Why believe them to be true? If you admit there are some errors, then it must entail that there is some error to the description in which the erroneous book(s) give about God. OR at least that seems logical to me. Maybe you see something that I am unable to see.</font>
You use common sense and a brain. (I laugh whenever I see comments that religion requires you to stop thinking) If 10 different Bible writers widely separated in time insisted that God was loving and gave an argument for it, and one said "I don't think God is loving", it doesn't take much consideration. It gets more complicated: Paul insists that faith alone saves, while James believes that good works are required as well. Personally, I agree with Paul - he gives a sound logical argument for it. I think good works will be clearly a result of faith though. Of course the atheists come along and say "it's a contradiction thus the Bible is errant and thus we believe none of it". Unfortunately the effect of fundamentalists declaring the Bible to be all but personally written by God is to make the atheists feel good when they prove a contradiction in theology between different writers. Meanwhile (ie several hundred years earlier) the non-fundamentalist Christians have for a long time been aware of the discrepancies in theology and split themselves into denominations (one group believing one thing and the other believing the other). Perhaps you can start to understand my feelings when atheists come along feeling good with themselves for finding things like that James and Paul disagree on whether faith by itself saves.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Well, that is your opinion. And exactly which faith? We are just discussing your view I would presume. Why are there so many denominations? Seems my 'minimal' view isn't really that minimal. Maybe your view is the minimal one. After all, which one of us trusts the erroneous Scripture anyway?</font>
To some extent we are discussing my view, but I cannot think of anything we have discussed where my view differs to the mainstream Protestant view. Why are there so many denominations? Because there are so many issues. In what I would call the mainstream Protestant denominations the differences are very minor. Eg my denomination (Baptist) is distinguished largely by the fact that we baptise people by fully immersing them in water rather than sprinkling water over their heads.

-Tercel
 
 

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