Christians and Evolution - A resource for those in question
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
02-09-2015, 08:45 PM (This post was last modified: 02-09-2015 09:31 PM by kingschosen.)
RE: Christians and Evolution - A resource for those in question
(02-09-2015 06:30 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Yes, he is alleging factual incorrectness of the Old Testament accounts, as every rational (non-fundamentalist) scholar for the last 200+ years has done.

And I think, Morondog, from what I've seen you writing in response so far that you're committing the same fallacy as the fundamentalists (in your case, by proxy through them), expecting these things to have been considered literal by their authors and the first/original audience of these stories, or expecting them to be defended on "literal or else worthless!" grounds.

When confronted by literalists, I will call such Christians "Bible idolators", because the terminology pokes them in the still-functioning parts of their brains. Actual scholars on the subject don't treat the Bible as inerrant or literal, and seek to understand the style of encoding and decoding the stories being told based on the way they were understood at the time, usually by comparative studies with other literature from the same era in nearby cultures.

Zoebion is being nice enough to give us some of that information regarding the ancient Hebrew stories in Genesis, and comparing them to their Sumerian/Chaldean/Babylonian roots. I find it fascinating.

This. You're speaking in black and white which is a fallacy.

But to summize what we're saying and to answer your question as plainly as possible, Morondog, the way one tell the difference between literal and non-literal is based on a few things but mainly the writing style.

The parts of Genesis that are borrowed from other ANE stories are quite obvious (we've covered that before). Much of the OT reads like a history book, and it was written to simply document the events of the time. These parts, based on the style, are to be taken literally. This isn't an isolated event just for the Bible either. Other ANE civilizations wrote this way, and there was a distinct line drawn from what they understood as telling a story or recalling history.

For the NT it reads, again, like documenting history as well as first person accounts of stories in their lives. There is nothing in those writing styles that suggest it shouldn't be taken literally. But then you have Revelation... This book reads like nothing else in the Bible. That's because it's written in an "apocalyptic language" which heavily relies on symbolism and numerology. By every other documents written in this style during that time, we see that the author was speaking non-literally; he may be speaking about literal events, but they are heavily "coded" and hard to decipher sometimes. These codes and symbols are not meant to be taken at face value.

It's not a "picking and choosing" thing either. It's based on historical literature and the writing styles of other works during the period of time in which a text in the Bible was written. When you look at the comparative styles, it's hard to deny its true intent if the style has a proven history to be taken literally or non-literally.

Hope this helps.

[Image: dog-shaking.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes kingschosen's post
02-09-2015, 11:40 PM
RE: Christians and Evolution - A resource for those in question
Yo dickheads, I asked a question. Last I heard, asking some shit wasn't committing a fallacy, but whatever floats your boat Smile

And I don't get what is wrong with asking "Since you allege that this part of the Bible, whether written in high prose or poetry or whatever unreliable method you choose for deciding that it's not literal, is in fact, stating something incorrect, does the same apply to parts of the Bible which I would take to be central tenets of your faith?"

You call it a fallacy, I say you guys have just found a (slightly) more creative way to cherry-pick Dodgy

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes morondog's post
02-09-2015, 11:51 PM
RE: Christians and Evolution - A resource for those in question
Yeah, I have a few problems with those explanations, too... though I think "cherrypick" is a little strong, I'm in agreement with M'Dog, on this one. Understanding that the Caananite peoples who became the Hebrews after they took up monotheism (eventually) still kept their ANE legends in their holy books, in whatever modified form, doesn't strike me as "of God" at all, but of their very human attempts to identify themselves as God's people and speak to their understanding of God. It's very different from trying to read God's actual influence in those OT texts. Whether or not Jesus himself was sent by God, and whether or not the NT is divinely inspired (you know my opinion on that, of course), the OT is so clearly plagiarized from the legends of the various peoples historians now believe "became" the Hebrews that the only way to "insert" God into that would be a massive amount of selective reading. There was a video posted to the forum not long ago which used language that would have been accessible to the ANE writers to explain how things came to be, which God could have easily used if the intent was for the Divine Being to explain how the world works (even by function), and which would have proved or at least strongly suggested His existence to modern scientists... but, nothing like that is in there, and instead we find most of the common misconceptions about the world found throughout the ANE writings, exactly what we'd expect to find if our working hypothesis is that humans, not God, wrote all of it.

If you are to overcome that (apparent) hurdle, you have quite a hill to climb. I'm interested in why the literalists are wrong, but I think what you've just presented, both of you, is a HUGE stretch. I'll likely be echoing a lot of Morondog's statements by the time this is done, or vice versa, but I'll throw this out there now so you can consider your phrasing carefully in presenting the case for divine authorship of what appear to us to be very flawed, non-divine, the full appearance of being Bronze Age humanity's best effort.

But it'll wait, as we're still under ceasefire. I provide the above for purpose of helping keep you from falling into a logical/rhetorical hole by not realizing how we're seeing what you're currently writing. Good luck!

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like RocketSurgeon76's post
03-09-2015, 12:09 AM
RE: Christians and Evolution - A resource for those in question
Hmpf. Now that I've read your responses I guess you did actually address my questions. I just saw the word 'fallacy' and a red mist descended in front of my eyes.

As you were. I still think your explanations are dodgy.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes morondog's post
03-09-2015, 09:48 AM
RE: Christians and Evolution - A resource for those in question
(03-09-2015 12:09 AM)morondog Wrote:  Hmpf. Now that I've read your responses I guess you did actually address my questions. I just saw the word 'fallacy' and a red mist descended in front of my eyes.

As you were. I still think your explanations are dodgy.

Ok, I apologize if I came across as a dick. I wasn't trying to be an ass. The issue that is being raised here (inerrancy and inspiration) is an entirely different debate. I am going to get to it. Actually, I plan on writing about it in the God and Evolution series next, but I still have at least 4-5 post on divine action to finish up. That being said, just for future engagement, I want to ask these questions (sorry this is so bundled up, my "enter" key just stopped working. 1) Why are writing styles such a big hill to climb? Why do you think it is not a good argument? 2) What do you think divine inspiration should look like? 3) Who came up with that standard and why? 3) Why should I accept that standard? 4) Why would you expect God to communicate in a way that was different than the communication of the day? This will help me know how to shape my posts, since I am now writing for two audiences Wink
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
03-09-2015, 10:02 AM
RE: Christians and Evolution - A resource for those in question
(03-09-2015 09:48 AM)Zoebion Wrote:  
(03-09-2015 12:09 AM)morondog Wrote:  Hmpf. Now that I've read your responses I guess you did actually address my questions. I just saw the word 'fallacy' and a red mist descended in front of my eyes.

As you were. I still think your explanations are dodgy.

Ok, I apologize if I came across as a dick. I wasn't trying to be an ass. The issue that is being raised here (inerrancy and inspiration) is an entirely different debate. I am going to get to it. Actually, I plan on writing about it in the God and Evolution series next, but I still have at least 4-5 post on divine action to finish up. That being said, just for future engagement, I want to ask these questions (sorry this is so bundled up, my "enter" key just stopped working. 1) Why are writing styles such a big hill to climb? Why do you think it is not a good argument? 2) What do you think divine inspiration should look like? 3) Who came up with that standard and why? 3) Why should I accept that standard? 4) Why would you expect God to communicate in a way that was different than the communication of the day? This will help me know how to shape my posts, since I am now writing for two audiences Wink

You didn't come across as a dick per se. More by implication. Also I make it a rule that when I lose the plot I lose it properly. Also your questions are more towards RocketSurgeon than me, as I think he was the joker who was talking about hill climbing.

Lemme ask you a question: why doesn't God talk to us directly, in an unambiguous manner? Why all this monkeying around with prophets and the like, if he really cares for us?

Or are you of the opinion, as is KC (as far as I am aware) that "the elect are gonna be fine and the rest of youse is fucked no matter what".

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
03-09-2015, 01:31 PM
RE: Christians and Evolution - A resource for those in question
(03-09-2015 10:02 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(03-09-2015 09:48 AM)Zoebion Wrote:  Ok, I apologize if I came across as a dick. I wasn't trying to be an ass. The issue that is being raised here (inerrancy and inspiration) is an entirely different debate. I am going to get to it. Actually, I plan on writing about it in the God and Evolution series next, but I still have at least 4-5 post on divine action to finish up. That being said, just for future engagement, I want to ask these questions (sorry this is so bundled up, my "enter" key just stopped working. 1) Why are writing styles such a big hill to climb? Why do you think it is not a good argument? 2) What do you think divine inspiration should look like? 3) Who came up with that standard and why? 3) Why should I accept that standard? 4) Why would you expect God to communicate in a way that was different than the communication of the day? This will help me know how to shape my posts, since I am now writing for two audiences Wink

You didn't come across as a dick per se. More by implication. Also I make it a rule that when I lose the plot I lose it properly. Also your questions are more towards RocketSurgeon than me, as I think he was the joker who was talking about hill climbing.

Lemme ask you a question: why doesn't God talk to us directly, in an unambiguous manner? Why all this monkeying around with prophets and the like, if he really cares for us?

Or are you of the opinion, as is KC (as far as I am aware) that "the elect are gonna be fine and the rest of youse is fucked no matter what".

It's similar to what I said in my blog post. Anytime God communicates with humans, it is in low context communication, so accommodation is necessary, thus, God has always chosen a way for his words to be mediated. In the OT it was mainly through the prophets. In the NT, I would say that he spoke in a pretty unambiguous way be sending the Word and having him become flesh. The author of Hebrews says that this is the ultimate manifestation of how God has spoken (Heb. 1:1-2). Because we no longer live in an oral society, and because the scripture has been written, God now uses his word and the preaching of the gospel (Rm. 10:14-17; 1 Cor. 1:18-31). Yet in the end, there is still the element of faith that must be expressed, whether it was in the OT or New, and according to Ephesians 2:8, it is a gift that only God can give.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
03-09-2015, 01:42 PM
RE: Christians and Evolution - A resource for those in question
Can you give an example of unambiguous deity communication?

I mean, when you communicate through a prophet, you automatically obfuscate your message because the bastard can put his own spin on it.

And I can't see how you can have this nuanced view of OT stuff being legends and myths and whatnot recorded at the time, and on top of that allege that there's some kind of secret sauce way of understanding the OT which makes it OK to go full science and ignore the genesis account, and suddenly turn around and claim that that same reasoning does not apply in the NT? You haven't actually claimed that yet. I want to know if you *do* claim that the NT is a similar mix of legends and stuff, and *if so*, what is your basis for claiming that there must be some truth behind the legend?

You've just cited a bunch of Bible verses to support your position, but you yourself have alleged that some Bible verses are not factually accurate. So... problem?

Fuck. I'm screwing up your exposition. I'm sorry. You don't have to answer these questions now. But I wanna know sometime.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes morondog's post
03-09-2015, 11:27 PM (This post was last modified: 04-09-2015 12:10 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Christians and Evolution - A resource for those in question
(03-09-2015 09:48 AM)Zoebion Wrote:  Ok, I apologize if I came across as a dick. I wasn't trying to be an ass.

Didn't think you were. You guys have both been civil at all points, and I appreciate that more than you can possibly realize. I'm actually quite fond of both of youzguyz.


(03-09-2015 09:48 AM)Zoebion Wrote:  The issue that is being raised here (inerrancy and inspiration) is an entirely different debate. I am going to get to it. Actually, I plan on writing about it in the God and Evolution series next, but I still have at least 4-5 post on divine action to finish up.

Okay. And agreed, it is a different debate.


(03-09-2015 09:48 AM)Zoebion Wrote:  1) Why are writing styles such a big hill to climb? Why do you think it is not a good argument?

It's not the writing style that is the hill to climb, it is the special claim that this particular ANE writing is "divinely inspired" (God talking to man), while virtually indistinguishable writings from other ANE cultures that address the issue are not considered divinely inspired. In other words, you assign God's Voice to the Genesis texts, via the mode of communication you are describing, but not to the Enuma Elish. As a nonbeliever, I see no reason to distinguish between these two, as both are ANE origins myths that describe the process of creation, however we define creation. They are the cultures of the day attempting to explain how we got here, using the action of god(s) as they understood them. Indeed, many elements of Genesis are clearly taken from the Babylonian mythologies, so it's a pretty big hill to climb to suggest divine authorship for one but not the other in a way that I would accept.

(03-09-2015 09:48 AM)Zoebion Wrote:  2) What do you think divine inspiration should look like?

We have essentially two contending hypotheses, here: A) humans made it all up, with no divine help, and B) through divine inspiration, humans were able to tell a higher truth than the competing tales of the ANE, which were not divinely inspired and tell only what humans knew.

Simply put, both the Enuma Elish and the Genesis mythologies give every appearance of being the work of only humans because the authors knew nothing that people of those cultures didn't know, and their errors are the ones we would expect to find based on the state of human knowledge at the time. I mentioned the video because there were concepts known at that time which could have been reassembled by a Divine Inspirer into a format that the audience could have understood, yet which would have contained things we now know about the world/universe, and which bear directly on those tales. The fact that nothing of that sort is in there, that nothing other than the culture of the time (except for the concept of monotheism, which itself appears to have evolved over the course of Hebrew history), to be found in those texts, is suggestive of hypothesis A.

(03-09-2015 09:48 AM)Zoebion Wrote:  3) Who came up with that standard and why? 3) Why should I accept that standard?

The person who came up with the standard is anyone who sees no visible difference between the ANE tales under consideration, when listening to a person assert that this one particular ANE creation story is Divinely Inspired™, while the others are not. You should accept this standard only if you wish to have rational grounds upon which to believe that the Genesis stories are anything other than Bronze Age tribal mythologies that are entirely the work of humans, like all the others we have since discovered and that no one believes are really divine, despite the common claim of divine truth in each of them.

(03-09-2015 09:48 AM)Zoebion Wrote:  4) Why would you expect God to communicate in a way that was different than the communication of the day? This will help me know how to shape my posts, since I am now writing for two audiences Wink

I would not expect a human to communicate in a way that was different than the communication of the day, nor would I expect God to communicate in a way that was not understandable to the audience of that day, but I would expect God, even while speaking in the cultural methods of the day, to have imparted some information that they did not have prior to that communication, to have shared something that could be understood by both the audience of that day and by today's audience, even if we had to look through the filter of their style of communicating information, to reveal that it is actually a divine work and not just people making shit up to try to codify their own ideas about God(s).

This is critically important in light of the recent scholarship that suggests the Hebrews were a composite Semitic people, and not a group that dated back to antiquity, and that the Pentateuch was a result of many different myths/stories that were compiled during the Exile to present a sense of antiquity and uniformity of belief, a unique and coherent religious identity, and thus prevent assimilation back into the Babylonian culture. In other words, we may not be speaking about the Ancient Near East, but the Near East of the 7th century BCE.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like RocketSurgeon76's post
04-09-2015, 08:49 AM
RE: Christians and Evolution - A resource for those in question
Now, this I like. A civil conversation between a believer and a non-believer with both using reason to get their points across, both willing to listen to the other's POV and both apologizing for harsh words. Keep it up.

Doc
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes docskeptic's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: