Jesus in the desert
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21-10-2014, 12:48 PM
RE: Jesus in the desert
(21-10-2014 09:02 AM)docskeptic Wrote:  Please explain how you decide what to believe in among the plethora of narratives preserved in the Christian tradition. How do you decide what is "fundie" and what is not?

Well I don't look at the bible and wonder whether something is fundie or not. But rather I read the bible and interpret the different books of the bible along the lines that I would any other work of literature. I'd start with the question of what is the writer trying to convey to his reader, what the particular meaning of a story or parable he just told? What is the writers views on Jesus, and his message. What role does the culture of the time have on him? What are my biases as a modern reader than I can possibly be bringing to the text?

And when I encounter believers of any stripe who might read a various passage or story differently than me, than the discussion for me is sort of like what we might expect to find in any book club, particularly in regards to great works of religious literature, like the writings of Dostoevsky.

One thing I don't do, is apply a different set of rules here, in understanding one form of language and expression from the next, even in everyday speech, where have to decipher sarcasm, from when a person is being literal, hyperbole, when the individual might be dishonest, etc......
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21-10-2014, 12:48 PM
RE: Jesus in the desert
(21-10-2014 12:02 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(21-10-2014 05:52 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Yabut, Bible! Bible says so!

That is a belittling way of addressing my points:

a) That I was late to the party on this thread but noticed everyone mocking the text.

b) That a simple application of logic solves the problem.

There's quite a difference between textual critical appraisal and "yabut! says so!" But you bring up the fact for me that the Bible isn't one book but 66 written by dozens of authors over a period of time and that we have written documents in evidence that antecede our musings.

Perhaps you can provide a book about their being no god at all, explaining that most people who've ever lived are incorrect, that has evidence within and not reasoned (or angry) speculations?

Yabut you got nothing. Sorry, but that's how you're treating my arguments. With extreme disrespect. You're smarter than the types of "arguments" you're making. Please do better.

Q,
Stop spouting rubbish and go fix the passenger ejector seat on the Aston Martin.
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21-10-2014, 12:54 PM (This post was last modified: 21-10-2014 01:22 PM by docskeptic.)
RE: Jesus in the desert
(21-10-2014 12:48 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(21-10-2014 09:02 AM)docskeptic Wrote:  Please explain how you decide what to believe in among the plethora of narratives preserved in the Christian tradition. How do you decide what is "fundie" and what is not?

Well I don't look at the bible and wonder whether something is fundie or not. But rather I read the bible and interpret the different books of the bible along the lines that I would any other work of literature. I'd start with the question of what is the writer trying to convey to his reader, what the particular meaning of a story or parable he just told? What is the writers views on Jesus, and his message. What role does the culture of the time have on him? What are my biases as a modern reader than I can possibly be bringing to the text?

And when I encounter believers of any stripe who might read a various passage or story differently than me, than the discussion for me is sort of like what we might expect to find in any book club, particularly in regards to great works of religious literature, like the writings of Dostoevsky.

One thing I don't do, is apply a different set of rules here, in understanding one form of language and expression from the next, even in everyday speech, where have to decipher sarcasm, from when a person is being literal, hyperbole, when the individual might be dishonest, etc......

But when an "impossible" statement such as the creation of Adam from dust or that of Eve from Adam's rib is a necessary part of your belief, do you brush it aside as hyperbole or believe it despite its impossibility?
Doc
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21-10-2014, 02:14 PM
RE: Jesus in the desert
(20-10-2014 11:24 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Jesus could have told the story of his desert pilgrimage to followers--one rather simple explanation.

Ah yes, the old person A tells person B who tells person C who tells person D who tells person E who finally writes it down - but it's no longer anything like what person A said... Consider

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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21-10-2014, 02:18 PM
RE: Jesus in the desert
(21-10-2014 12:48 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Well I don't look at the bible and wonder whether something is fundie or not. But rather I read the bible and interpret the different books of the bible along the lines that I would any other work of literature. I'd start with the question of what is the writer trying to convey to his reader, what the particular meaning of a story or parable he just told? What is the writers views on Jesus, and his message. What role does the culture of the time have on him? What are my biases as a modern reader than I can possibly be bringing to the text?

And when I encounter believers of any stripe who might read a various passage or story differently than me, than the discussion for me is sort of like what we might expect to find in any book club, particularly in regards to great works of religious literature, like the writings of Dostoevsky.

One thing I don't do, is apply a different set of rules here, in understanding one form of language and expression from the next, even in everyday speech, where have to decipher sarcasm, from when a person is being literal, hyperbole, when the individual might be dishonest, etc......

That's an awful lot of effort just to understand God's instructions for going to heaven and avoiding hell. Why do you suppose God wasn't more clear and straightforward? Hell is hardly anything to be playing games with, wouldn't you say? Consider

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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21-10-2014, 07:57 PM
RE: Jesus in the desert
(21-10-2014 12:54 PM)docskeptic Wrote:  But when an "impossible" statement such as the creation of Adam from dust or that of Eve from Adam's rib is a necessary part of your belief, do you brush it aside as hyperbole or believe it despite its impossibility?
Doc

I don't think the impossibility of a statement factors much in how I might understand a passage.

When anyone of us reads the Genesis story, we sort of bring with us some underlying assumptions, that we might not even consciously be aware of.

So a question we might ask when reading the Genesis story is why would this have been written? What sort of questions was it attempting to answer for the community in which the scriptures belonged to.

One answer, I hear quite frequently, is that they were written to quell a sort of desire that many of of us have, to know how we came about, questions that we now turn to science for, and understand through natural history. I reject this view, I don't think this is in fact the reasons for such stories. The question of how we came about is more less one that arises with a sort of privilege, it appeases a certain sort of idle curiosity. This sort of curiosity seemingly doesn't exist among those who live in quite difficult circumstances, where poverty and violence is always around the door.

Like all stories, that attempt to convey something more than just entertainment, the essence is to convey a meaning, a moral understanding of things.

I don’t think the writers of these text were attempting to have us believe that they were filled with some spirit that allowed them to envision life thousands of years prior to their own life, and this spirit showed them how it all came to be. But rather it’s the writer attempting to convey an underlying meaning for the order and chaos around him, the impact of discerning good and evil, and the creative forces around both, that wreck havoc on relationships with not just the sacred, but with each other.

Quote:Adam's rib is a necessary part of your belief,
I don’t see how this would be a necessity for my beliefs. It might be a necessity of a some atonement theology held by some evangelical churches, which relies on some sort of cosmic transgression that occurred when some guy named Adam 6000 years ago, decided to eat a fruit, in which god had to send his son to restore the balance. But any other view of atonement outside of this one, it’s not a necessity.
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21-10-2014, 08:24 PM
RE: Jesus in the desert
(21-10-2014 02:18 PM)Impulse Wrote:  That's an awful lot of effort just to understand God's instructions for going to heaven and avoiding hell. Why do you suppose God wasn't more clear and straightforward? Hell is hardly anything to be playing games with, wouldn't you say? Consider

I'm sure it would be if the bible was suppose to be some instruction manual for going to heaven and avoiding hell.

The Jews loved their stories, and whatever it is they valued of importance, in all things philosophical, historical, in relationship to God, and man, they chose to convey these things in narratives, that got told from generation to generation. It might not appease certain critics, but I don't think this was their interest.
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22-10-2014, 08:37 AM
RE: Jesus in the desert
(21-10-2014 07:57 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I don’t think the writers of these text were attempting to have us believe that they were filled with some spirit that allowed them to envision life thousands of years prior to their own life, and this spirit showed them how it all came to be. But rather it’s the writer attempting to convey an underlying meaning for the order and chaos around him, the impact of discerning good and evil, and the creative forces around both, that wreck havoc on relationships with not just the sacred, but with each other.

(21-10-2014 08:24 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I'm sure it would be if the bible was suppose to be some instruction manual for going to heaven and avoiding hell.

The Jews loved their stories, and whatever it is they valued of importance, in all things philosophical, historical, in relationship to God, and man, they chose to convey these things in narratives, that got told from generation to generation. It might not appease certain critics, but I don't think this was their interest.

Do you believe the Bible is just a collection of stories about God, but not at all from God, or do you believe they are at least in part from God in some way?

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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22-10-2014, 09:13 AM
RE: Jesus in the desert
(21-10-2014 12:16 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(21-10-2014 12:02 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  There's quite a difference between textual critical appraisal and "yabut! says so!" But you bring up the fact for me that the Bible isn't one book but 66 written by dozens of authors over a period of time and that we have written documents in evidence that antecede our musings.

All the analysis of the books allegedly written by Moses indicates that they are not nearly as old as the apologists would like to believe. They believe what they believe, because they want to believe.

"Yabut, Bible. Bible says so", while certainly belittling, makes most of the same point.


(21-10-2014 12:02 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Perhaps you can provide a book about their being no god at all, explaining that most people who've ever lived are incorrect, that has evidence within and not reasoned (or angry) speculations?

Why? Why do I need to waste my time disproving a nonfalsifiable belief system for which there is no non-presuppositional evidence? Perhaps I should waste my time disproving leprechauns and unicorns, while I'm at it.

Until someone can give me a good reason to believe in any of those things, I think it's fair to dismiss them as unsubstantiated assertions.

I don't disagree with what you're saying, you'd need a good reason only, but consider this if you would:

Fundies think Moses wrote the Pentateuch circa 1450 BCE. I think Moses died and then Joshua wrote in bits about Moses's death and burial. Others think JDEP wrote the Pentateuch circa 250-ish BCE. Why 250? You know why, I'm sure...

...Because the Septuagint translation of Hebrew to Greek OT scriptures dates to that time. Scholars be they Christian or atheist definitely place the "books of Moses" at 250 BCE along with much of the Hebrew scriptures.

If I accept the later dating for the Hebrew scriptures, I'm still faced with the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in his advent. I'm still faced with the fact that there must have been a historical Jesus because Jewish people of the time - or if you like, some decades later - didn't quickly quash the NT scriptures as apocryphal - Whadda you mean! My grandfather said there never was a Yeshua doing miracles in Jerusalem! and so on.

I'm "stuck" on Jesus and wish you were as well. What changed your mind or were you always an atheist for as long as you can remember?

Thanks.

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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22-10-2014, 09:14 AM
RE: Jesus in the desert
(21-10-2014 08:24 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(21-10-2014 02:18 PM)Impulse Wrote:  That's an awful lot of effort just to understand God's instructions for going to heaven and avoiding hell. Why do you suppose God wasn't more clear and straightforward? Hell is hardly anything to be playing games with, wouldn't you say? Consider

I'm sure it would be if the bible was suppose to be some instruction manual for going to heaven and avoiding hell.

The Jews loved their stories, and whatever it is they valued of importance, in all things philosophical, historical, in relationship to God, and man, they chose to convey these things in narratives, that got told from generation to generation. It might not appease certain critics, but I don't think this was their interest.

If you view the bible as a bunch of stories that you can derive moral behavior from as you throw out all of the bad parts, thereby using your own sense of morality to pick which parts are moral.

If you acknowledge that up front, I can't say I would disagree too much about your approach other than the bible is a fairly useless and over-done book to derive morality from. You tear out that page where it says "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and chuck the rest. That's the best part right there, ignore all of the rest.

Of course, there will be plenty of Christians that will disagree on your version of Christianity, but no biggie.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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