A point of clarity
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29-08-2014, 02:36 PM
RE: A point of clarity
(29-08-2014 12:49 PM)Impulse Wrote:  I think it does negate at least some things. For example, with Adam and Eve came original sin and therefore the need for a messiah. That is, the Christian messiah though because the original meaning of messiah was different as understood by Jews. But Christianity teaches that Jesus saved us from original sin and reopened the gates to heaven. If there was no original sin, then in my mind it follows that Jesus was no messiah.

Other events like Noah's flood or the exodus could still have happened though without inconsistency even with Genesis being complete fiction. So it wouldn't negate everything.

In ancient Hebrew culture the messiah .. "the annointed one" (late) in their history, was, by some (few) only, thought to be the one who was to re-establish the (earthly) Kingdom of David. There was (and is) no "original sin" in the Torah or Talmud theology. All the rest is later Christian over-lay on top of a culture that had no notion AT ALL of "redemption". The Jews were not, and are not, waiting for a "savior". There were some interesting philosophical insights/differences in Hebrew culture that were different from their surrounding Canaanite neighbors. Salvation was not one of them. There are all kinds of types of ancient literature in the collection of texts that came to be voted (non-unanimously so) into the "Bible". Since "historical accuracy" was neither a concept they had words for, or a concept that was important to them, for modern humans to slap their (literal) values onto ancient literature, is simply ignorance of the culture and it's literature.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein It is objectively immoral to kill innocent babies. Please stick to the guilty babies.
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31-08-2014, 12:36 AM
RE: A point of clarity
(29-08-2014 07:19 AM)Gordon Blue Wrote:  Long time reader, first time poster.

It's great to read your first post. I hope you keep posting so I can benefit from your knowledge and experienced.

(29-08-2014 07:19 AM)Gordon Blue Wrote:  If the events described in genesis, such as creation, are incorrect in how the known universe was formed, shouldn't all that follows be incorrect?

Not necessarily. When I read the bible, which is still often, I stay as skeptical as I possibly can. I try to assess each verse as I go along. There are sometimes verses in the bible that I actually agree with or enjoy. One scripture that I love very much and that has stayed with me even in unbelief is Philippians Chapter four verse eight.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

I don't worry about choosing what verses I enjoy or consider beautiful because I am not trying to claim that the whole thing is the infallible word of a deity. If I were making that claim, it would be dishonest of me to believe one scripture while disbelieving in or ignoring another. I am not impressed when believers do this, because I don't like dishonesty.

I think it is very important for people to read the bible skeptically and ask a lot of questions about everything. I think it is even more important to know it well when, like me, you often have to explain why you don't believe that it is the word of god. There are many flaws, including contradictions, obvious mistakes due to scientific ignorance, and questionable moral practices and commandments. There is a wealth of information with consciousness raising implications.

(29-08-2014 07:19 AM)Gordon Blue Wrote:  If it is believed that abraham and moses were fictional characters, does that not render their legacies fictional as well?

Their legacies? Maybe. For example, I wouldn't credit Abraham with the long and prosperous posterity that god supposedly granted him. I think his posterity, if we can call it unusually prosperous at all, is better explained by natural causes.

However, I don't think the same ought to be said for the content of their words and ideas. For example, Socrates is not proven to have lived yet his influence is still felt today. This does not matter to those of us who study philosophy because we have judged the ideas credited to him on their own merits. I think the same can be done of Moses, Abraham, even Jesus.

(29-08-2014 07:19 AM)Gordon Blue Wrote:  If the bible is to be used as a faith document and not a historical document, does that not render the entire piece as mythological by definition?
How can one believe JC existed if the only account of his life can not be considered historical?

When I was a believer, in a fundamentalist form of Mormonism, we were taught that faith was enough to establish facts, even historical ones. Our faith in the scriptures was evidence of their truth and accuracy, and their truth and accuracy affirmed our faith based belief as correct. This is a simple and common form of circular thinking. If you had asked me when I was a believer, I would have told you that the Bible, and in my case The Book of Mormon as well, were both faith documents and historical documents.

I think the Bible qualifies as mythology regardless of its supposed historical accuracy. It contains many stories of a supernatural nature which have not been, and cannot be, proved or disproved. Any history which relies on evidence cannot include these tales without a demonstration of their validity, which is impossible.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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