Why I Believe
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22-04-2017, 04:09 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(22-04-2017 02:31 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  ... I'd say I'd expect a divinely authored book to be error free ...

Consider the repercussions if it weren't error free. It would therefore mean that any commentary or paraphrasing done by man to undo the "error", or even just clarify the point, is a de facto admission that man can express the point of the holy scripture BETTER than the god could. The god shouldn't have bothered to try in the first place, since man is needed to do what the god couldn't do - make a meaningful point without being confusing and certainly without being incoherent.

So holy scripture has to be error free, and makes its points more perfectly expressed than mere man could accomplish - otherwise it would be indistinguishable from any work of fallible or unhinged or ignorant or disingenuous men claiming to be speaking their god's voice..

And we all know just how sharp and unassailable that distinction is. Laugh out load
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22-04-2017, 08:20 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(22-04-2017 04:09 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(22-04-2017 02:31 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  ... I'd say I'd expect a divinely authored book to be error free ...

Consider the repercussions if it weren't error free. It would therefore mean that any commentary or paraphrasing done by man to undo the "error", or even just clarify the point, is a de facto admission that man can express the point of the holy scripture BETTER than the god could. The god shouldn't have bothered to try in the first place, since man is needed to do what the god couldn't do - make a meaningful point without being confusing and certainly without being incoherent.

So holy scripture has to be error free, and makes its points more perfectly expressed than mere man could accomplish - otherwise it would be indistinguishable from any work of fallible or unhinged or ignorant or disingenuous men claiming to be speaking their god's voice..

And we all know just how sharp and unassailable that distinction is. Laugh out load

the book describes what it means to be human, or interact with humans. How can that be 'error free"?
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22-04-2017, 10:28 PM
RE: Why I Believe
(22-04-2017 08:20 PM)AB517 Wrote:  ... the book describes what it means to be human, or interact with humans. How can that be 'error free'? ...

If what you mean is that human meaning and human intercourse are so subjective and ineffable that their study can never get beyond "Blue is prettier than red" then the concept of "error" can't be applied and in that sense might constitute being "error free". But the preponderance of scripture flatly states that blue is prettier than red in declarative proclamations that'll damn you to hell to dispute, a kind of objectivity by fiat, putting itself very much into logical terrain landmined with error.

Most scripture doesn't address human intercourse, it decrees human/god intercourse, and with no god actually present, I have to agree that anything stated whatsoever about such conduct could not possibly be in "error". But no god would have inscribed it either.
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22-04-2017, 10:52 PM
RE: Why I Believe
Well, the book includes accounts of several events that demonstrably did not happen. Not even a little bit. And there's no indication that these accounts are meant to be metaphors.

If we just assume anything that "would be wrong" must be a metaphor, then we're giving God more leniency than we would a human author. A decent human author makes it clear whether they are writing a factual or fictional book, and if they intersperse fact with fiction, they note when they are doing so.

Also, what exactly is stopping God releasing new/correct versions? And doing so directly, into everyone's head? Why does he need such a shitty medium?

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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23-04-2017, 02:30 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(22-04-2017 01:05 PM)SeaJay Wrote:  I've just spent seven and a half hours going through the following replies to the Infidels.org website and the contradictions they say they've come across:

Here are the replies to the contradictions I'm working through http://www.genesispark.com/essays/contra...s/answered

I am about 75% through, having checked the text against this interlinear scripture analyser: http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInter..._Index.htm

I've been keeping a tally as to whether or not I believe the contradictions remain 'Unresolved' if I am 'Not Sure' or if I believe they have been 'Resolved'.

So far the count is:

UnR 12
NoS 26
Res 178

The final count is

UnR 16
NoS 43
Res 255

Some arguments for the possibility of a contradiction were very poor, but then, some of the arguments for the resolution of a contradiction were not that strong either. The Unresolved ones, as far as I could tell, were simply beyond my ability to decipher either way. The truly did sit in the neutral camp.

Can't help thinking the Bible should not have a single error in it, and I know there are Christians who also believe this is the case.

Personally, I always thought there were errors, and that is indeed the case here. So in that respect I guess nothing much has changed aside from, I am now more convinced of those errors I thought were there. Of course there are probably replies to the Christian apologetic replies, and this is something I might (probably) well look into at some future date. Took me around 9 hours but I'm glad I did it.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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23-04-2017, 03:27 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 02:30 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  ... Can't help thinking the Bible should not have a single error in it ...

Considering the totality of all your evaluations thus far, of the scripture itself and all the aspects of religion apart from scripture, had you found the scripture fully flawless would that have been sufficient to outweigh all the rest of your body of reason and make you conclude only a god, your god, could have done such a thing?
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23-04-2017, 03:50 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 03:27 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(23-04-2017 02:30 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  ... Can't help thinking the Bible should not have a single error in it ...

Considering the totality of all your evaluations thus far, of the scripture itself and all the aspects of religion apart from scripture, had you found the scripture fully flawless would that have been sufficient to outweigh all the rest of your body of reason and make you conclude only a god, your god, could have done such a thing?
That's a great question. I guess deep down, even if the bible were flawless, I'd still have major issues.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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23-04-2017, 04:21 AM
RE: Why I Believe
That bibles aren't flawless is a curiosity. They reached their present form only after aeons of editing and revision by countless contributors whose principal object was to create the most flawless document possible to reflect the glory of their idol. That bibles are so dreadful is therefore among the great ironies of history - they should be the apex of man's expository talent yet are almost its exact opposite. Bibles should read better than Shakespeare, instead they are barely readable at all.

I don't know why, except that religious fervor is rarely accompanied by strength of imagination, or deft faculty of mind, so its written legacy has only the mediocre to record it. All those monks all those centuries toiled at making the words objects of visual artistry and gave no thought whatsoever to the vividness or vitality of the stale insights they so tediously copied.
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23-04-2017, 04:50 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(23-04-2017 04:21 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  That bibles aren't flawless is a curiosity. They reached their present form only after aeons of editing and revision by countless contributors whose principal object was to create the most flawless document possible to reflect the glory of their idol. That bibles are so dreadful is therefore among the great ironies of history - they should be the apex of man's expository talent yet are almost its exact opposite. Bibles should read better than Shakespeare, instead they are barely readable at all.

I don't know why, except that religious fervor is rarely accompanied by strength of imagination, or deft faculty of mind, so its written legacy has only the mediocre to record it. All those monks all those centuries toiled at making the words objects of visual artistry and gave no thought whatsoever to the vividness or vitality of the stale insights they so tediously copied.
And when I consider just how important the message is to Christians...

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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23-04-2017, 05:50 AM (This post was last modified: 23-04-2017 06:40 AM by SeaJay.)
RE: Why I Believe
Belief and Faith

I've been thinking, what does it mean to have "belief" and (as I asked earlier) how does belief differ from faith?

Belief: For me, this is when I consider there is enough evidence for a claim that I consciously decide to think that claim is true/real (as opposed to the claim being not true/false).

Faith: This is when I do not have enough good evidence to believe something is true/real, but I decide to believe it could be true/real anyway.

For example:

Do I believe that 2000 years ago there was a Jew called Jesus in the Holy Land?
Evidence: Plenty of Jews were called Yahshua in those times.

Decision: I believe this claim is true

Do I believe there was a Jew called Jesus who said he was the son of God and taught belief in him was the path to salvation?
Evidence: Though sparse I do believe there is enough evidence that Jesus existed in a historical sense, at least.

Decision: I believe this claim is true (whether Jesus' claims are true or not is another question).

Do I believe Jesus was crucified by the Romans/Jews?
Evidence: There are documented records the Romans carried out crucifixions, and I've stated above I believe Jesus existed in a historical sense.

Decision: I believe this claim is true

Do I believe Jesus rose from the dead 3 days later?
Evidence: None outside the bible records

Decision: I have to consciously apply faith that this claim is true

So what does all this mean to me? It means I can have faith that absolutely ANYTHING is true. I'd bet people could argue all day whether or not faith is gullibility and naivety or if it was trust and confidence in something. I guess it might boil down to how many things you put faith into. Too much faith spread around would in my book, make a person gullible but faith here and there might just show a person has the 'convictions of his beliefs'.

The question for me though, is, if there was no threat of eternal punishment, would I choose to apply faith that Jesus rose from the dead after three days in a tomb, walked on water, raised the dead, that waters were parted, that the sun stood still, that the dead got up and walked around Jerusalem, that a man survived three days in the belly of a whale, that a global flood occurred and so on?

Scary as it is, I think I'd have to say no, because saying yes feels like I am being dishonest to myself. So at least I've admitted that.

EDIT: Pondering a bit more, even if there was no punishment, I am not entirely convinced I could just simply switch off my faith. There's something deep inside me that holds on to believing. Not sure if this is the deep rooted fear or if I'm just clinging on, but it's there.

Isn't the brain a wondrously frustrating thing!

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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