Finally reading the Bible cover to cover
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30-01-2015, 02:50 PM
RE: Finally reading the Bible cover to cover
(28-01-2015 12:14 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(28-01-2015 11:49 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Having just seen Exodus: Gods and Kings last night at the dollar theatre, I need to tell you, it is evident Pharoah had a bad attitude and didn't need to be "adjusted" by God.

Watching The Life of Brian did numbers for clearing up the New Testament for me. I like your style!

(30-01-2015 02:03 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Restating: I was being facetious when I suggested that a movie could prove the facts of the Exodus to anyone.

I don't like your style, anymore. Angry
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30-01-2015, 03:17 PM
RE: Finally reading the Bible cover to cover
(30-01-2015 02:03 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Restating: I was being facetious when I suggested that a movie could prove the facts of the Exodus to anyone. I wasn't being facetious but ironic, as I stated in my second post, that most anyone watching the film should conclude what the film portrays--that Pharaoh fights God, loses, and then in pride, fights God more. The idea that God made Pharaoh do things against Pharaoh's free will. And again in the film (did you see it?) and in the Bible Moses is grieved that the plagues have to happen because Pharaoh is so hard-hearted.

Based on other posts I've read, it's hard to tell whether or not you're being facetious. I haven't seen Exodus: Gods and Kings, but there are other movies about the Exodus story too, such as The Prince of Egypt. God is portrayed in a rather positive light, and Pharaoh is clearly the prideful villain (although he is arguably a gray, complex character in the movie, and I love when villains are portrayed like that in literature and film - like actual human beings rather than caricatures - but I digress). And I'm totally fine with how the screenwriter and director told the story and interpreted the characters - it was their adaptation, and they had every right to utilize artistic license. And honestly, it's one of my favorite animated films.

But does that mean one should interpret the story in the Bible the same way? I mean, you can. Plenty of people do. But do I think God's attitude and behavior in the story should be rationalized or simply ignored? Absolutely not.
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02-02-2015, 02:36 PM
RE: Finally reading the Bible cover to cover
(30-01-2015 03:17 PM)Dahlia Wrote:  
(30-01-2015 02:03 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Restating: I was being facetious when I suggested that a movie could prove the facts of the Exodus to anyone. I wasn't being facetious but ironic, as I stated in my second post, that most anyone watching the film should conclude what the film portrays--that Pharaoh fights God, loses, and then in pride, fights God more. The idea that God made Pharaoh do things against Pharaoh's free will. And again in the film (did you see it?) and in the Bible Moses is grieved that the plagues have to happen because Pharaoh is so hard-hearted.

Based on other posts I've read, it's hard to tell whether or not you're being facetious. I haven't seen Exodus: Gods and Kings, but there are other movies about the Exodus story too, such as The Prince of Egypt. God is portrayed in a rather positive light, and Pharaoh is clearly the prideful villain (although he is arguably a gray, complex character in the movie, and I love when villains are portrayed like that in literature and film - like actual human beings rather than caricatures - but I digress). And I'm totally fine with how the screenwriter and director told the story and interpreted the characters - it was their adaptation, and they had every right to utilize artistic license. And honestly, it's one of my favorite animated films.

But does that mean one should interpret the story in the Bible the same way? I mean, you can. Plenty of people do. But do I think God's attitude and behavior in the story should be rationalized or simply ignored? Absolutely not.

Repeating: The Bible gives some clear pictures of Pharaoh's heart and his mindset, specifically in the passage under question where the Hebrew states God is using the plagues and etc. to test Pharaoh's heart to demonstrate to other people where his heart was at...

The plain sense of the Star Wars films, for example, is that Darth Vader made some bad choices. The plain sense of the Bible or the Exodus movies is that Pharaoh stands as a greater villain. But we wouldn't say Darth Vader was forced to be evil nor should we say that of Pharaoh nor does the Bible say it in a quality translation or the original texts.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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02-02-2015, 03:07 PM
RE: Finally reading the Bible cover to cover
(02-02-2015 02:36 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  But we wouldn't say Darth Vader was forced to be evil nor should we say that of Pharaoh nor does the Bible say it in a quality translation or the original texts.

Can you provide evidence for your assertion?
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02-02-2015, 06:51 PM
RE: Finally reading the Bible cover to cover
(26-01-2015 04:32 PM)Dahlia Wrote:  Although I hear this is beginning to change, Bible reading has not traditionally been a huge part of daily life for most Catholics. So besides the weekly readings at Mass and the little bit of skimming I did every now and then, I did not really study the Bible when I was a believer. And I didn't need to read the whole Bible in order to eventually figure out that it's nothing but mythology with some historical names and places thrown in. But after nearly six years as an atheist, I recently decided to read it cover to cover, just to see what it's like when you no longer read it with "God glasses" (thank you to Seth for this very applicable phrase).

I'm about halfway through Exodus, so I've barely made a dent. But I am already astounded by how little I knew. For example, if I had actually read the story of Moses closely when I was a believer, I might have noticed that God doesn't actually send the plagues in a desperate attempt to rescue his beloved Israelites from the ever-stubborn Pharaoh. Actually, he manipulates Pharaoh like a puppet master in order to demonstrate how big and powerful he is. At the expense of innocent men, women, children, and animals.

Am I surprised? Not at all. I always thought the God of the Old Testament seemed harsh and vindictive. But I relied on the excuses of the apologists, what they said about the "New Covenant," about not taking everything in the Bible literally, and blah blah blah. How liberating it is to read a story like that and not have to worry about how the God of love and peace could be so horrible.

God was probably casting judgement on a pagan ruler that enslaved his chosen people. Ahhh, makes a lot of sense when taken in that light, doesn't it?
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03-02-2015, 09:43 AM
RE: Finally reading the Bible cover to cover
(02-02-2015 03:07 PM)Dahlia Wrote:  
(02-02-2015 02:36 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  But we wouldn't say Darth Vader was forced to be evil nor should we say that of Pharaoh nor does the Bible say it in a quality translation or the original texts.

Can you provide evidence for your assertion?

Thanks--earlier on this thread I explained that the Hebrew means the polar opposite of God removing free will--the Hebrew is actually "testing" as in "tightening a rope around a sponge to squeeze out the water within". The plagues show who Pharaoh is--an enemy of God who chooses to remain stubborn.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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04-02-2015, 11:32 AM
RE: Finally reading the Bible cover to cover
(03-02-2015 09:43 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  The plagues show who Pharaoh is--an enemy of God who chooses to remain stubborn.

Chooses to remain stubborn only if you ignore the parts that say specifically where his heart is hardened by god.

"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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05-02-2015, 09:58 PM
RE: Finally reading the Bible cover to cover
(03-02-2015 09:43 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(02-02-2015 03:07 PM)Dahlia Wrote:  Can you provide evidence for your assertion?

Thanks--earlier on this thread I explained that the Hebrew means the polar opposite of God removing free will--the Hebrew is actually "testing" as in "tightening a rope around a sponge to squeeze out the water within". The plagues show who Pharaoh is--an enemy of God who chooses to remain stubborn.

I meant can you back up your claim with actual evidence - not just another claim. Because I looked into Jewish scholarship on this topic (as these scholars are experts in the study of the Hebrew scriptures in their original language), and I found nothing indicating that the original wording means "testing."

Some Jewish scholars have in fact tried to reinterpret the phrase in other ways, while others argue that God did harden Pharaoh's heart. Here is a scholarly source. http://www.biu.ac.il/JH/Parasha/eng/vaera/yashar.html

But at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter whether God intervened or whether Pharaoh's stubbornness was all on him. God killed innocent children to prove that he was in charge. Why didn't he limit that punishment to Pharaoh? Wouldn't that have been more just?

This is a story I really struggled with when I was a believer. Considering how well-known it is, I'm surprised more theists don't raise an eyebrow at it.
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06-02-2015, 02:40 AM
RE: Finally reading the Bible cover to cover
(26-01-2015 04:32 PM)Dahlia Wrote:  Although I hear this is beginning to change, Bible reading has not traditionally been a huge part of daily life for most Catholics. So besides the weekly readings at Mass and the little bit of skimming I did every now and then, I did not really study the Bible when I was a believer. And I didn't need to read the whole Bible in order to eventually figure out that it's nothing but mythology with some historical names and places thrown in. But after nearly six years as an atheist, I recently decided to read it cover to cover, just to see what it's like when you no longer read it with "God glasses" (thank you to Seth for this very applicable phrase).

I'm about halfway through Exodus, so I've barely made a dent. But I am already astounded by how little I knew. For example, if I had actually read the story of Moses closely when I was a believer, I might have noticed that God doesn't actually send the plagues in a desperate attempt to rescue his beloved Israelites from the ever-stubborn Pharaoh. Actually, he manipulates Pharaoh like a puppet master in order to demonstrate how big and powerful he is. At the expense of innocent men, women, children, and animals.

Am I surprised? Not at all. I always thought the God of the Old Testament seemed harsh and vindictive. But I relied on the excuses of the apologists, what they said about the "New Covenant," about not taking everything in the Bible literally, and blah blah blah. How liberating it is to read a story like that and not have to worry about how the God of love and peace could be so horrible.

Hi Dahlia,

Also another thing you might look for is any mention of logic or reason and what they are and how they pertain to knowledge. Christians are always telling me that the Christian world view is the only world view that can account for logic. I find that amazing since I can't find any reference to the subject in the Bible. So its unclear how Christianity "accounts for" these things. I contend that for any guidance on the subject Christians must look to other sources and philosophies and steal these concepts. I've looked but can't find this information.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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06-02-2015, 10:44 AM
RE: Finally reading the Bible cover to cover
(26-01-2015 04:32 PM)Dahlia Wrote:  Although I hear this is beginning to change, Bible reading has not traditionally been a huge part of daily life for most Catholics. So besides the weekly readings at Mass and the little bit of skimming I did every now and then, I did not really study the Bible when I was a believer. And I didn't need to read the whole Bible in order to eventually figure out that it's nothing but mythology with some historical names and places thrown in. But after nearly six years as an atheist, I recently decided to read it cover to cover, just to see what it's like when you no longer read it with "God glasses" (thank you to Seth for this very applicable phrase).

I'm about halfway through Exodus, so I've barely made a dent. But I am already astounded by how little I knew. For example, if I had actually read the story of Moses closely when I was a believer, I might have noticed that God doesn't actually send the plagues in a desperate attempt to rescue his beloved Israelites from the ever-stubborn Pharaoh. Actually, he manipulates Pharaoh like a puppet master in order to demonstrate how big and powerful he is. At the expense of innocent men, women, children, and animals.

Am I surprised? Not at all. I always thought the God of the Old Testament seemed harsh and vindictive. But I relied on the excuses of the apologists, what they said about the "New Covenant," about not taking everything in the Bible literally, and blah blah blah. How liberating it is to read a story like that and not have to worry about how the God of love and peace could be so horrible.

I decided to do the same thing, just because it seems like a lot of atheists enjoy pointing out stuff to christians that they don't know about their own bible. Although it is by no means the most egregious part of the Old Testament, the many times it talks about burning an animal sacrifice as "an aroma pleasing to the lord" really jumped out as strange to me. If I had read that part when I was a believer, I might have stopped and questioned that. The all-powerful supreme being who exists beyond space and time is pleased by the smell of burning animal flesh? Also, when Jacob tricks Isaac to give the blessing to him instead of Esau, was god tricked too? Or if he wasn't Isaac couldn't ask god to rescind the blessing and give it to Esau as he intended? So many holes in these fables...

One more note, I'm surprised that people still respond to the Q-troll. He/she is clearly a contrarian who just enjoys trying to rile us up.
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