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Old 07-27-2001, 03:23 PM   #11
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Originally posted by Zar:

Even though you were clearly joking, I have to say that, no, Christmas is the "Christianized" winter solstice celebration. I'm sure we would have some kind of celebration without Christianity.


As for the Bible -- It is important, without a doubt, for its sway on mankind. Its value is in the eye of the beholder, and dependent on your worldview. If you value freedom and the modern world, its contributions and value to this age are dubious and certainly not comprehensive. Some of its influence in the U.S., for instance, is still clear (if sometimes just to provide comedic fodder for Eurpoeans), but we are as much Greco-Roman society as Christian.

[ July 27, 2001: Message edited by: Zar ]</STRONG>
I asked Elaine Pagels a question in the
"Jesus Mysteries" site close to this question. Her response was that
the Bible has been instrumental in the development of mankinds spiritual, creative and philosophic nature.

She contends that through religious discourse
and mythology the species has been allowed to expand creativity and develop philosophy, and what we consider as the "Arts".

Other people have made mention of the fact that most of the literate populations of the world, learned to read and think from the most widely available book in history.

At the advent of the printing press, millions
learned to read simply so that they could read the "word of God" for themselves, instead of being forced to take the word of clergy for the only valid source of divine wisdom.

As soon as people started to learn to read using the Bible, they began to realize that the clergy was not truthful all the time, and that the opinions of the Catholic church
did not necessarily match the written

They applied their own interpretations to the Bible and facilitated the breakup and split factions in the early church, leading to the reformation, and the absolute end of the dark ages.

In those areas the Bible has been a tool for truth in some cultural upheavels.

I say that's all crapola....

Personally I see the Bible as the tool for those who would enslave mankind. A device for the accumulation of wealth and power.

A disgusting work outlining the concepts of
bigotry, discrimination, and salvery.
It is a document that advocates ethnic cleansing.

It has been the authoritative work used to
install fear in the general populace, in order to make them docile.

It has been used as a tool of conformity.
And I disagree with Elaine, and say that the book actually has stunted the growth of the "arts" historically by the forced adherence to the doctrines of the pious in power.

The Bible is a book of fantasy, nothing more.

Is it still, in todays world, relevant?
You better believe it!!!

Friday July 27, 2001
The NC House of representatives ignoring warnings about religious freedom and Supreme Court precedent, passed legislation Thursday allowing public schools to post the Ten Commandments in all schools in North Carolina.

The legislation also requires schools to impose dress codes and establish " and a character education curriculum, teaching the views of courage, kindness, and other positive traits".
Christian fundamentalists, quoting James Madison and Proverbs,said guidelines such as "dont steal" and "respect your parents"
fit perfectly into legislation aimed at "Strengthening the moral fiber of the states children".
My kids have plenty of "moral fiber" thank you very much.

The Christian authors of the bill have attempted to disguise the bill as religious
or faith based in nature by listing the Ten Commandments as historical documents such as the "Magna Carta" and the "Declaration of Independence".

Rep. Art Pope, R-Wake county said " We are a nation of liberty, but that doesnt mean we disavow or cannot acknowledge God".

The US Supreme Court in 1980, prohibited the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools.
It seems with the new administration of Bush,
there may be new challenges to the Supreme Courts opinions regarding the seperation of church and state, as Bush has been pushing
the new Faith-Based initiatives.

More than half of the Ten Commandments are universal admonitions, but four are clearly religious in nature including "thou shalt have NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME".

I say, what about the Hindus, Buddhists kids?
Are we now telling them that their faith is not acceptable?

The Bible is relevant in todays world because Fundamentalists will not be satisfied until they have forced their beliefs on every single human on the planet.

The document or work of fiction, or whatever you want to call it refered to as "the Holy Bible" has throughout history been the instrument of death, destruction, war, discrimination, mind control, and many atrocities perpetrated on unsuspecting non-Biblical cultures.

Accept the teachings of the Bible or DIE, it's that simple. And no theist can ever deny
or contridict the inhuman treatment of non-Biblical cultures by Gods representatives.

If you choose to be a pawn in the game of
Biblical teachings and you accept the unprovable that is your right.
But no one has the right to impose by force or legislation the Bible or any of it's contents on those who do not want to hear it.

We are entering a period of social change in the US, and there will be more and more challenges to the seperation of church and state doctrine that is the hallmark of the

The fundamentalists who say that this country was founded on Christianity and Biblical principles are gaining ground with this absolute nonsense, and will not be satisfied until everyone is enslaved by their doctrines of Bible and God.

The United Sates of America was not founded on Christianity, it was not founded on Biblical principles, it was however founded on the principles of religious tolerance.
And the concept of Freedom to worship as the citizens want, without the interference of Government, and conversely those who do not want Christianity or the Bible shoved in their face through Government agencies and are against tax money being used to support religion should be spared from that type of intrusion.

and the constitution is supposed to guard against such a concept.

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Old 07-27-2001, 03:27 PM   #12
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In my opinion, the truth is in the middle. Clearly, there is some nonsense in the Bible -- the whole notion that God came to Earth in the guise of a Jewish carpenter is absurd on its face. But there is also some wisdom in it.

And while pointing out the contradictions won't deconvert a fundamentalist, it is a heck of a lot of fun to point them out, especially when the fundamentalist in question clearly never seriously considered the problem.
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Old 07-27-2001, 03:32 PM   #13
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As a work of man, it's very interesting, like in all sacred books, to see what kind of mythical worldviews people held thousands of years ago and what kind of laws and of ethics they adhered to. It has some nice ethical rule (written along other rules that support slavery, but if it's a work of mankind, you can't expect them to rise very much above their historical context), even though most of them are not original.

As a work of God, it's an utter and complete failure: it looks exactly like a work of mankind

[ July 27, 2001: Message edited by: utbabya ]
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Old 07-27-2001, 06:17 PM   #14
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Er...Job is great, but I think you mean Jonah, lpetrich.

You are right. It's the Book of Jonah, best-known for the part about Jonah being swallowed by a sea monster. Surviving three days in that monster's stomach is clearly a fantasy element, which only adds to that book's non-historicity.

I use "sea monster" because that's a reasonably noncommittal term; that book does not describe it in detail, so we can't be sure if it is a whale or a big fish or simply some fantasy creature comparable to a dragon.

Yes of course if we were inundated with fundamentalist Zoroastrians quoting from the Bundahisn, I'm sure their sacred texts would also be subject to ridicule. But as is the case with the bible, this ridicule is reactive and superficial and is unlikely to change anyone's mind. Perhaps it might succeed in galvanizing the opposition, though. Still, it all seems a bit silly to me.

However, I do think it legitimate to try to set the record straight.
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Old 07-27-2001, 09:48 PM   #15
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Its great for making allusions to when you're feeling pompous Also I'm very thankful that I wasn't born into a relgion with a more logically consistent holy book or I'd probably still be a theist.
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Old 07-27-2001, 09:52 PM   #16
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Is the Bible chock full of nonsense and hence completely worthless, or is it an attempt to record older wisdom, correct or otherwise, using allegory and symbolism which has been overlooked thanks to the efforts of zealous true-believers, who think everything is meant to be taken literally?
Didn't Jefferson refer to it as "diamonds in a dungheap"?

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Old 07-27-2001, 11:54 PM   #17
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(begin joke)
A Bible has many uses. Widely available, and extremely sturdy, it can be used to prop up a table, or raise a monitor a few extra inches for comfortable viewing. It can be a weapon against the scourge of insects - thrown or swung - and it's heft guarantees sucessful obliteration. It can be a paperweight, a doorstop, and even a source for paper in defecation emergencies.
(end joke)

Ok, sorry about that being in this thread, but I guess it will get canned anyway or moved. I find the Bible most useful (ironically) for stumping Christians. Simply memorizing a few of my favorites helps. You can ask your "saviour" if they know scripture so-and-so, and when they say "no," just ask them why they are preaching the word when they don't know it.

Dean A. Klear
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Old 07-28-2001, 05:05 AM   #18
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Thumbs up

joedad wrote:
Didn't Jefferson refer to it as "diamonds in a dungheap"?
That's what i was getting at. I think most of it is an attempt to record the knowledge, faulty or otherwise, of the people of that time. To do so they used allegory and symbolism and expected the stories to be interpreted as such. In support of this understanding i simply declare: you'd have to be pretty stupid to take it all literally...

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Old 07-28-2001, 07:36 AM   #19
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Originally posted by telemachus:
<STRONG>joedad wrote:

That's what i was getting at. I think most of it is an attempt to record the knowledge, faulty or otherwise, of the people of that time. To do so they used allegory and symbolism and expected the stories to be interpreted as such. In support of this understanding i simply declare: you'd have to be pretty stupid to take it all literally...

Agreed, but the point is that millions DO
take it literally.
And not only do they take it literally, but they want to FORCE you to take it literally.
They cant be happy with their own personal Jesus and God, and their own personal quest for immortality, they think they have an obligation to make sure the whole planet is forceably subjected to their views.
Ancient cultures rich with knowledge and tradition have been totally decimated by these zealots under the guise of spreading the "word of God".
The word of God, is more like the spread of Cancer.
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Old 07-29-2001, 09:25 AM   #20
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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!

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!
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