Faith and Fairy Tales
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08-09-2015, 09:50 AM
RE: Faith and Fairy Tales
(08-09-2015 09:35 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ... what makes you think that those religious stories written thousands of years ago required they be seen as historically accurate? ...

All the chapters of genealogies and begats. Unless intended as a cure for insomnia there's no other purpose for them than as an historic accounting - and as preface to historic events that follow.
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08-09-2015, 09:57 AM
RE: Faith and Fairy Tales
(08-09-2015 09:35 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(08-09-2015 06:37 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  While both are fictions invented to deliver a story as a means of instilling values and morals -- the fairy tale doesn't require or even expect the listener to believe it to be true. This makes the fairy tale more intellectually honest.

You mean believe them to be historically true?

Many fairy tales take their morals and value seriously, presenting them as the way we ought to be, the values we ought to hold, etc.. They draw a clear line between good and evil. And inhibit a world with a clear moral arc, that they seem to suggests is the moral arc of our world as well.

And what makes you think that those religious stories written thousands of years ago required they be seen as historically accurate? Clearly the text doesn't suggest that to be the preferred method? Perhaps these texts as well, were attempt to convey a reality, that wasn't so much about literal history at all.

Well, the text was inspired by God--so you would think He would want His ramblings to be historically accurate because if they weren't it may give his creation pause for thought and cause them to think religion was just a bunch of man-made stories...wait a second Consider

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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08-09-2015, 10:01 AM
RE: Faith and Fairy Tales
But I wonder how fairy tales/folk tales influenced the development of the Abrahamic religions? After all they come from an area with a certain cultural homogeneity. Do you suppose that such folk tales had some influence on the development of religious narratives? With the recent announcement that the oldest copy of the Quran is supposedly older than Mohammed then that would suggest pre-existing stories might have developed into something a bit more than just fairy stories. After all the Biblical Flood is an analogue of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Whatever their origin the Abrahamic "morality" tales appear particularly nasty.
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08-09-2015, 10:11 AM
RE: Faith and Fairy Tales
(08-09-2015 08:41 AM)jennybee Wrote:  
(08-09-2015 08:34 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  Aesop's fables are moral tales; there is no morality in the bible at all. The "moral" aspiration advanced by the bible is "do god's will". As we can see with Ms. Davis in Kentucky right now, doing "god's will" is not a moral position, it's its opposite.

There is no logical progression from "do god's will" to "act morally". God's will includes such things as flying airliners into skyscrapers, and drowning your children in a lake.

I agree that prefacing bible chapters with "Once upon a time" will give pause to taking them literally, but there is no morality to be taken from them.

I think there are *some* good parts in Psalms and Ecclesiastes. And of course, the church will pick out a few nuggets from the NT (while leaving out the bad parts). But generally, I agree with you the Bible is not something that should be used as a moral compass.

I also find some of the Proverbs can be depicted as "good advice." That doesn't mean that said advice is innovative by any means, but it can still be seen as decent.

- Don't withhold good from people
- A gentle answer turns away anger
- Lazy hands make for poverty but diligent hands bring wealth

There are a few nuggets in there, they may seem like common sense now but I'll admit sometimes I need to be reminded not to be an ass to people and that I should be reading rather than on TTA for my entire lunch hour. Laugh out load jk

**Crickets** -- God
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08-09-2015, 10:14 AM
RE: Faith and Fairy Tales
(08-09-2015 10:01 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  But I wonder how fairy tales/folk tales influenced the development of the Abrahamic religions? After all they come from an area with a certain cultural homogeneity. Do you suppose that such folk tales had some influence on the development of religious narratives? With the recent announcement that the oldest copy of the Quran is supposedly older than Mohammed then that would suggest pre-existing stories might have developed into something a bit more than just fairy stories. After all the Biblical Flood is an analogue of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Whatever their origin the Abrahamic "morality" tales appear particularly nasty.

A lot of surrounding cultures at the time influenced religion/"scientific" beliefs. Many scholars think the Enuma Elish inspired Genesis, for example. Several examples in the Bible speak of animal hybrids as a way of predicting signs from God. Some people think this was an OT original. It wasn't--cultures all around the Israelites did the same thing. Same with circumcision...wasn't just a biblical thing, other cultures nearby were utilizing this practice as well.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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08-09-2015, 10:45 AM
RE: Faith and Fairy Tales
(08-09-2015 08:34 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(08-09-2015 08:18 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  ... Aesop's fables teach far more morality than the bible without the magic ...

Aesop's fables are moral tales; there is no morality in the bible at all. The "moral" aspiration advanced by the bible is "do god's will". As we can see with Ms. Davis in Kentucky right now, doing "god's will" is not a moral position, it's its opposite.

There is no logical progression from "do god's will" to "act morally". God's will includes such things as flying airliners into skyscrapers, and drowning your children in a lake.

I agree that prefacing bible chapters with "Once upon a time" will give pause to taking them literally, but there is no morality to be taken from them.

Oh please, it is completely moral to eliminate whitches and kill disobedient children.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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08-09-2015, 10:57 AM
RE: Faith and Fairy Tales
(08-09-2015 09:50 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(08-09-2015 09:35 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ... what makes you think that those religious stories written thousands of years ago required they be seen as historically accurate? ...

All the chapters of genealogies and begats. Unless intended as a cure for insomnia there's no other purpose for them than as an historic accounting - and as preface to historic events that follow.


SO the one's written with genealogies and begets were intended to be interpreted as historical accounts, or at least parts of it. The Gospels genealogies, indicate the writers did see themselves as writing about a real historical person, that that their writings were in some sense biographical? Would this have been the case for the writers of the stories of Samson, and Cain and Abel, and Noah, etc..?

Did ancient Hebrews have separate categories for fictional narrative and historical ones? Did fiction even exist in the ancient world? Or are fairy tales, fictional stories, a modern invention? Did the greeks distinguish between fictional accounts of Dionysus, Zeus, from historical ones? Or were they all read as historical? Did their audiences read them as we would historical biographies, or did they read them they way we might the genres which they resemble the most, as stories, and novels?

My view would be that these distinction are a modern one. That if we asked an ancient audience as to whether the stories were literal or not, the question would be as confusing as asking a Japanese community to distinguish between their cultural and religious ritual. And that often our understanding of these writings suffer from a great deal of anachronism.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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08-09-2015, 11:11 AM
RE: Faith and Fairy Tales
(08-09-2015 09:57 AM)jennybee Wrote:  Well, the text was inspired by God--so you would think He would want His ramblings to be historically accurate because if they weren't it may give his creation pause for thought and cause them to think religion was just a bunch of man-made stories...wait a second Consider


I think it's the other way around. If we assumed they were historically accurate we'd have to pause for thought, right after reading the first few chapters of Genesis, with two competing creation accounts side by side. Or the four Gospels, with their own order of events, and difference in narratives. If anything the writers and communities of the bible had a bold disregard to historical accuracy,.

Novels, stories draw their inspirations from religious imagery, romance, etc.. Rarely do we speak of historical accounts as being inspired, in fact historical writings tend to be the least inspired.

I also think the Jewish sensibilities, apparent in the numerous interpretations of Torah, with it's competing narratives, etc... is entirely lost to many of us in our age, confusing our own high regard for historical and scientific writings, as opposed to literary works, with those of the past.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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08-09-2015, 11:26 AM
RE: Faith and Fairy Tales
(08-09-2015 11:11 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(08-09-2015 09:57 AM)jennybee Wrote:  Well, the text was inspired by God--so you would think He would want His ramblings to be historically accurate because if they weren't it may give his creation pause for thought and cause them to think religion was just a bunch of man-made stories...wait a second Consider


I think it's the other way around. If we assumed they were historically accurate we'd have to pause for thought, right after reading the first few chapters of Genesis, with two competing creation accounts side by side. Or the four Gospels, with their own order of events, and difference in narratives. If anything the writers and communities of the bible had a bold disregard to historical accuracy,.

Novels, stories draw their inspirations from religious imagery, romance, etc.. Rarely do we speak of historical accounts as being inspired, in fact historical writings tend to be the least inspired.

I also think the Jewish sensibilities, apparent in the numerous interpretations of Torah, with it's competing narratives, etc... is entirely lost to many of us in our age, confusing our own high regard for historical and scientific writings, as opposed to literary works, with those of the past.

I would agree with your first point-except the Bible says Scripture was God-inspired/god-breathed. I do not think most parts of the Bible were historically accurate (i.e. Noah/Exodus/Abraham etc.). The purpose of genealogies (as was done in many cultures of the time) was to establish importance of ancestry. The Bible Background Commentary I have mentions this was done to show a linear genealogy from Adam/Eve to Noah's Flood with the "intention to bridge a gap between major events." (Walton, Matthews, & Chavalas). They go on to mention that in linear genealogies, "the actual amount of time represented by successive generations does not seem to be as important as the sense of completion or adherence to purpose."

My point was that if God truly exists and this is His book--why not be accurate with everything in it from a historical perspective, why fudge details?

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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08-09-2015, 11:47 AM
RE: Faith and Fairy Tales
(08-09-2015 11:26 AM)jennybee Wrote:  I would agree with your first point-except the Bible says Scripture was God-inspired/god-breathed.

You mean the writer of 2 Timothy stated that, though the verse in questions has to nothing to do with historical accuracy, or the value of historical or scientific facts. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,". In fact the use here being illustrated for the bible is not of a history book, but training to be righteous, not historically correct.

Quote:I do not think most parts of the Bible were historically accurate (i.e. Noah/Exodus/Abraham etc.). The purpose of genealogies (as was done in many cultures of the time) was to establish importance of ancestry.

It's not a question as to whether the bible is historically accurate, it's a question of whether historical accuracy even mattered to the writers and communities of scripture. Or is it an idol of our age?

Quote:My point was that if God truly exists and this is His book--why not be accurate with everything in it from a historical perspective, why fudge details?

But that's a silly point. Life is not about historical facts, so why should the bible be? I may know more historical facts than my mother, but I'm not any better of a person as the result of it, nor a better Christian, etc....

Why are the historical details so commonly disregarded? Perhaps because it's not about the historical details.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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