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Invisiblejohnm214
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Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'?
    #16159878 - 04/30/12 01:24 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

More and more people who claim to be Christian, or to have some reverence for the bible, claim that real, rational worldviews are consistent with the bible.  These arguments, both on this forum and elsewhere, tend to involve hand waving about "not taking it literally" and such, but can the bible be squared through any coherent or semi-rational interpretation?  Is there any way to do so without reducing the bible to just another mythical tale?

Please lay out your best case (or hell, any case) for deriving the 'real meaning' from the bible in a way that doesn't lead to fatal contradictions or arbitrary exceptions.

---

What prompted this post:

I was watching a discussion where some 'sophisticated' catholic talked with nonbelievers about the importance of the church and made the usual disclaimer that he certainly wouldn't expect the bible to be true literally (he didn't mention how to decode the true meaning, they never do).  As he was pressed, however; he said Adam and Eve couldn't have been real people and that humans simply evolved from lower primates.


To the unsophisticated reader, myself, I would think this would be a rather fatal admission- how could this person be a catholic at all?  How could it be necessary to be baptized?  Why would the default disposition of people be hell?  Why would we need to meet in booths and tell old virgins that we're sorry for having masterbated?  Does this single admission not demolish the whole reason for Christ in the first place- and hence the whole of Christianity?

That's just one example of problems that arise from trying to reconcile credulous belief in authority with reality, but is there any non-problematic one?


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OfflineEllis Dee
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16159928 - 04/30/12 01:37 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

No. The Bible is filled with confusing parables and contradictions. Which story of creation is correct for example. The story told in Genesis Ch 1 or Genesis Ch 2?


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"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #16159951 - 04/30/12 01:47 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Is there any way to do so without reducing the bible to just another mythical tale?

No. It is a mythical tale. I don't see why viewing the Bible as myth should deter from coherent interpretations though.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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OfflineRonaldFuckingPaul
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Kickle]
    #16159962 - 04/30/12 01:50 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

The bible is :tard:


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OfflineG-Cotty
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214] * 1
    #16159964 - 04/30/12 01:51 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Great post, I find this topic equally interesting, as I have spent some time trying to resolve this exact issue.

First off, I do want to say that I think there is definite value in the Bible as a literary source. The problem I see with Christians (and really any religion) is that the bible is all that matters. The bible, according to most Christians, essentially tells you that it has EVERYTHING you have ever needed nor ever will need. In a way, it promotes ignorance. 

Now, I am not a Christian, but I do think there is rationality behind the bible. I actually don't believe it is rational to form an entire worldview based on a secondary source (experience is necessary IMO), so I guess I am not answering your question. Nevertheless, I see the bible as an allegorical piece of literature which describes human existence. None of it is meant to be taken literally. Heaven and hell are 'ideas' which the bible uses to describe the feeling of what it is like to be with (or apart from) God. The creation story is not MEANT to be scientific, it is meant to be a starting place for all of existence.

Honestly, when people say the Bible contradicts science its like saying that fairy tales contradict real life. I place the same value on the Bible as I do books like to Tao te Ching. These works artistically describe what it is like to be a human being. The whole cycle of God leading the israelites through the desert, only for them to betray them is a metaphor for the imperfection of mankind. This is just one example of many. Stories like Jonah, Job, and even Jesus could have similar interpretations.

I realize I didn't answer your question, but I figured I would chime in. I've struggled pretty sincerely over this issue, and to this day find myself confused by so much of what the Bible says. Honestly though, I don't think an honest rational worldview is possible with any literal interpretation of the Bible. But then again, maybe rationality is overrated?


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: RonaldFuckingPaul]
    #16159973 - 04/30/12 01:55 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

reeferaddict69 said:
The bible is :tard:




How so?


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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OfflineRonaldFuckingPaul
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Kickle]
    #16159979 - 04/30/12 01:57 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
Quote:

reeferaddict69 said:
The bible is :tard:




How so?



It's full of contradictions and it doesn't line up with our modern understanding of the world verified through science.


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: RonaldFuckingPaul]
    #16159990 - 04/30/12 02:01 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

So? Has never been a problem for me to find wisdom within it. Nor has it ever been a conflict with finding wisdom in science.

The Bible is a lot of things both figuartively and literally :shrug:


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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OfflineG-Cotty
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: RonaldFuckingPaul] * 1
    #16159996 - 04/30/12 02:04 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

reeferaddict69 said:
The bible is :tard:




O please. This is just as ignorant as a Christian saying the Bible is the ultimate source of truth. Its ignorant to dismiss something as 'retarded' just because you don't like the Christians who preach it.

The bible DOES NOT have to line up with science. By itself, the bible is just literature. Only humans are the ones who read it and make insane claims relating it to things such as science.

It sounds like you are more frustrated with Christians than the bible.


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OfflineEllis Dee
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Kickle]
    #16160027 - 04/30/12 02:13 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
Is there any way to do so without reducing the bible to just another mythical tale?

No. It is a mythical tale. I don't see why viewing the Bible as myth should deter from coherent interpretations though.



For thousands of years people interpreted the Bible literally. It was intended to be literal, not figuratively. It was only because the common man was illiterate and had to rely on the religious/political authority for their knowledge that there ever was a consistent interpretation on any level. We are beyond this foolishness now and realize it for what it is. Which is a bunch of horse shit myths, no different than any other superstition.


--------------------
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #16160036 - 04/30/12 02:16 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

I really doubt your claim considering writings to the contrary. Some interpreted it literally and some still do. But some did not and some still do not. Those who wrote it are unknown for the most part and so claiming they intended it to be literal is quite the leap of faith IMO. Especially since most of the writings come from stories that are far older than the Bible.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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OfflineG-Cotty
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #16160046 - 04/30/12 02:19 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

For thousands of years people interpreted the Bible literally. It was intended to be literal, not figuratively.

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. You don't know the INTENTIONS of the authors any more than you know the authors themselves. For God's sake, how can the intent of the Bible be so obvious if there are so many authors in it who lived over such a long period of time?

The bible doesn't claim to be anything. All we can do is guess. Some people think its literal, others allegorical. There are arguments for both sides, but there is no way of knowing.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: G-Cotty]
    #16160050 - 04/30/12 02:20 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

I think it's fantastical :pope:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander] * 1
    #16160246 - 04/30/12 03:07 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Let's put it this way: if today a man killed his son and explained to the jury that God told him to do it he would be deemed mentally ill - even if the jury was 100% Christian, but put the same story thousands of years ago and it is a revelation.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: OrgoneConclusion]
    #16160399 - 04/30/12 03:31 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

One of the earliest known English translations of the Bible is John Wycliffe's translation.

http://wesley.nnu.edu/fileadmin/imported_site/biblical_studies/wycliffe/

interesting differences like in hebrews, most modern bibles say "it's appointed for a man to die once and then come judgement", but wycliffe's says "it's appointed for a man once to die, then comes the doom"

also interesting to note that that same verse is in reference to how Christ only had to die once to fulfil God's salvationary needs, and how it's unlike the high priests of the faith who had to annually sacrifice the blood of "others" at the alter. you look at the world that is translated as "others" and it's literally, "aliens". so apparently the jewish religious hiearchy was getting blessings from god for spilling the blood of extraterrestrials at the alter? kinda strange. i'm not sure what to make of it


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Edited by whatsgrimace (04/30/12 03:35 PM)


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Invisiblejohnm214
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: G-Cotty]
    #16162992 - 04/30/12 11:40 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
Is there any way to do so without reducing the bible to just another mythical tale?

No. It is a mythical tale. I don't see why viewing the Bible as myth should deter from coherent interpretations though.





I didn't suggest it would.  That its incoherent is an entirely different quality from its mythical status- though it indicates such.  The Christians claiming god wrote the bible or inspired those who did, yet reject what it plainly says, have the burden of establishing some means of determining what the book/god actually means.

They are quite adept at criticising litteralist views and those of other sects, but have you ever heard anyone explain in positive terms how to read the book?  I haven't- hence this thread.


Quote:

Kickle said:
I really doubt your claim considering writings to the contrary. Some interpreted it literally and some still do. But some did not and some still do not. Those who wrote it are unknown for the most part and so claiming they intended it to be literal is quite the leap of faith IMO. Especially since most of the writings come from stories that are far older than the Bible.




Why do so many people believe adam and eve were real people?

Why do so many people believe evolution to be false?

How is any of this consistent with your suggestion of their reading?  (hell, why is it so hard to figure out how to extract the truth from the book?)


Quote:

G-Cotty said:
By itself, the bible is just literature. Only humans are the ones who read it and make insane claims relating it to things such as science.

It sounds like you are more frustrated with Christians than the bible.




The bible makes pretty big claims.  Its literature that is believed as truthful by many.

But the bible is more repugnant than the Christians, not less, in my view.

This "non litteralism" is a response to the incoherency and repugnant nature of the commands and vies in the bible- a moderating influence.

What I'm trying to show is that there's no way to square this circle- there is no consistant and coherent way to read the bible at all.


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16163052 - 04/30/12 11:57 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

They are quite adept at criticising litteralist views and those of other sects, but have you ever heard anyone explain in positive terms how to read the book?




Sure.
"Look for what speaks to you and be open to a discussion with others."

Quote:

Why do so many people believe adam and eve were real people?



Because it benefits them / minimizes harm.

Quote:


Why do so many people believe evolution to be false?



Because it benefits them / minimizes harm.

Quote:


How is any of this consistent with your suggestion of their reading?  (hell, why is it so hard to figure out how to extract the truth from the book?)




There is no singular truth I'm aware of and I wasn't trying to suggest otherwise.
Especially not when looking into the past.


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Invisiblejohnm214
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Kickle]
    #16163219 - 05/01/12 12:34 AM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
Quote:

They are quite adept at criticising litteralist views and those of other sects, but have you ever heard anyone explain in positive terms how to read the book?




Sure.
"Look for what speaks to you and be open to a discussion with others."






How does that lead to a coherent reading of the bible?

"What speaks to you" can be applied universally but is the exact antinode of scripture, authority, and revelation.  That seems like encouragement to engage in wishful thinking with no mechanism for discernment from the false that we might wish.

But I'm not certain you've answered the question- instead you seem to simply reject that text you don't like, that doesn't 'speak' to you.  Surely this is obviously incompatible with revelation and authority?  Either the bible is god's word or it isn't.

Quote:

Quote:

Why do so many people believe adam and eve were real people?



Because it benefits them / minimizes harm.

Quote:


Why do so many people believe evolution to be false?



Because it benefits them / minimizes harm.

Quote:


How is any of this consistent with your suggestion of their reading?  (hell, why is it so hard to figure out how to extract the truth from the book?)






There is no singular truth I'm aware of and I wasn't trying to suggest otherwise.
Especially not when looking into the past.






Previously you said you doubted railgun's claim regarding reading the bible 'litterally' (which so far the only alternative has been to ignore what you want- which seems a reasonable statement of your alternative yet incompatible with the whole notion of religion and revelation.

I asked several questions that seem to reveal in their premise that indeed most do read the bible litterally true who have any religious conviction.  Your reply was to suggest why they might do that, but you haven't explained how that is consistant with your doubting of railgun's post.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214] * 1
    #16163314 - 05/01/12 12:53 AM (10 years, 2 months ago)

I think the main problem is that the bible is really past it's used by date. Anyone care to start writing a new testatment?



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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Jwlst] * 1
    #16164240 - 05/01/12 08:30 AM (10 years, 2 months ago)

what was ezekial talking about when he was speaking about animal creatures that hovered above spinning wheels with eyes around the circumference


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: whatsgrimace]
    #16164273 - 05/01/12 08:45 AM (10 years, 2 months ago)

The living creature before God's throne, also featured in Revelation.


--------------------
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #16164283 - 05/01/12 08:53 AM (10 years, 2 months ago)

so were those the good guys or the bad guys. i don't intend to blaspheme, just to get answers


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: whatsgrimace]
    #16164296 - 05/01/12 08:58 AM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Good guys (on God's side).


--------------------
"If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do."-King Solomon

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Ellis Dee]
    #16166183 - 05/01/12 04:51 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

this bible is considered by pretty much anyone with any sort of serious education in theology to be "the bible". the more current version you get will have the more up to date scholarly analysis in the footnotes.


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I'm up to my ears in unwritten words. - J.D. Salinger


Edited by millzy (05/01/12 04:52 PM)


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16166782 - 05/01/12 06:52 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

johnm214 said:
Quote:

Kickle said:
Quote:

They are quite adept at criticising litteralist views and those of other sects, but have you ever heard anyone explain in positive terms how to read the book?




Sure.
"Look for what speaks to you and be open to a discussion with others."






How does that lead to a coherent reading of the bible?





I thought you were asking if I had ever heard someone who criticizes literal views provide in positive terms how to read the book? Because that's what I was addressing. As for how this makes the Bible coherent, it may not, but it does take the responsibility off an inanimate object such as a book (which cannot take the responsibility in the first place) and puts it onto the individual reading the book. It's the individual who makes it coherent or fails and that's true with science as well. Given a sample of 100 people off the street, how many could make coherent sense of a physics publication? Is it then safe to say that the physics publication is incoherent? How about if a coherent explanation is given by a physicist, but when an individual regurgitates it suddenly it sounds quite incoherent? How do we know that the physicist was actually giving a coherent presentation? It clearly wasn't coherent to the person they explained it to.

My problem with this line of inquiry is that the Bible was not created for a mass audience in its written form. Neither is a physics publication. So to expect either of these things to be coherent without the environmental context that drove their creation, is really asking a lot IMO.

Quote:

Previously you said you doubted railgun's claim regarding reading the bible 'litterally'




Nah, I doubted his claim about knowing the intention of the author's of the Bible. He might be right and he might be wrong, but claiming to know for certain is going to raise a considerable amount of doubt in me, given historical context. My doubt wasn't tied to anything else.


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Invisiblejohnm214
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Kickle]
    #16169480 - 05/02/12 05:01 AM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
As for how this makes the Bible coherent, it may not, but it does take the responsibility off an inanimate object such as a book (which cannot take the responsibility in the first place) and puts it onto the individual reading the book.




But the problem with faith and rejection of reason still remains in any such treatment that can be at all consistant with the bible as god's word.  I don't really see much of a distinction between the "fundamentalists" and others on the topic of the harm they cause, despite this distinction being popular amongst those serving as appologists for religion, scripture.

In each case the person relies upon a text, whether scripture or dogma, that they must place above reason- if they don't, then I can't see in any sense how they are theists.  The non-litteral interpretations just allow someone to make up whatever interpretation they want and insist on it- the same problem as the 'fundamentalists' only with more flexible outcomes (though in practice I doubt there's much of a difference).

Either reason is your guide or you rely on supposed revelation of god's word- the later is problematic.

Quote:


It's the individual who makes it coherent or fails and that's true with science as well.




Supposedly- the whole purpose of this thread was to figure out how someone could be a theist and take the bible as revealed truth and yet interpret it in a coherent way that doesn't negate the prior conditions (and thus making them not christians and thus excluding their views from this inquiry).

I have doubts whether this can be done- mostly because it seems implausible and the great number of people who excuse non-litteralists whilst condemning the fundamentalists never offer any evidence such an interpretation can exist.  If it doesn't exist, then these people are simply not following the bible as they claim and there's no reason for them to.


Quote:



Given a sample of 100 people off the street, how many could make coherent sense of a physics publication?




What does it matter?  The physics publication is fallible and not revelation- there is no reason it need be coherent.  It can instead be wrong, flawed.  The theist claiming the bible to contain revelation then must show how their interpretations are consistent with this status- I suspect it isn't.  Its simply an equivocation seeking to obfuscate the situation enough to preven dissonance between their view of the bible, their theology, and reality.






Quote:

So to expect either of these things to be coherent without the environmental context that drove their creation, is really asking a lot IMO.




How do you justify that leap?  I'm not asking if any given person can rationalize their reading of the bible with their Christian faith and theism, I'm asking if it can be done at all.


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OfflineFreedom
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16170237 - 05/02/12 11:34 AM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

johnm214 said:



Does this single admission not demolish the whole reason for Christ in the first place- and hence the whole of Christianity?

That's just one example of problems that arise from trying to reconcile credulous belief in authority with reality, but is there any non-problematic one?




Is there any non-problematic system of thought, other than perhaps pure mathematics? Doesn't even physics have a problem with resolving quantum mechanics with relativity?


I think its plainly obvious that humans turn to fantasy to try to find security. My parents are atheists and I've always thought religious beliefs were bullshit. That said I've recently found the image of christ on the cross a potent symbol of an internal process that must occur when letting go of my ego. I have no idea if any priest would agree with my interpretation, but the symbol resonates with me. Is it because I've seen the image so many times? Is it because the image is revered by so many people and I've some how given the image importance because of this? I don't know, but I certainly don't need any literal meaning to put a symbolic meaning on the image. I don't even have to read the bible.

When taking psychedelics everything can become a powerful symbol to me. I remember once holding up a screwdriver and at that moment it wasn't just a screwdriver, it represented all of human technology and I felt great awe at its power. Does this symbolic representation conflict with the fact that the screwdriver was just a screwdriver and was not literally all of human technology? I don't think so.


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Edited by Freedom (05/02/12 03:45 PM)


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16170244 - 05/02/12 11:36 AM (10 years, 2 months ago)

I'm providing an interpretation of the Bible that I find coherent. I don't expect myself to understand every little detail of the Bible because it is an unrealistic expectation given my own ignorance of story origins and historical context. But I'm a theist. I also read a wide variety of writings from other religions, philosophers and scientists. There is no inherent conflict on my end and also the reason
that having the responsibility on the individual doing the reading is helpful in my case.

The purpose of the physics publication example was to illustrate the relative nature of coherence. What is coherent for one may not be for another. I don't think this is a bad thing.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16170250 - 05/02/12 11:37 AM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Read the midrash dude


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Kickle]
    #16171339 - 05/02/12 03:38 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
I'm providing an interpretation of the Bible that I find coherent. I don't expect myself to understand every little detail of the Bible because it is an unrealistic expectation given my own ignorance of story origins and historical context. But I'm a theist. I also read a wide variety of writings from other religions, philosophers and scientists. There is no inherent conflict on my end and also the reason
that having the responsibility on the individual doing the reading is helpful in my case.

The purpose of the physics publication example was to illustrate the relative nature of coherence. What is coherent for one may not be for another. I don't think this is a bad thing.




You're a theist? :eek:


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: 4896744]
    #16171539 - 05/02/12 04:25 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
I'm providing an interpretation of the Bible that I find coherent.





Yes, and so far as I've seen youre method, your views don't comport with the premises of the question:  a view that the bible is the word of god in the christian sense.  That said, you don't seem to offer any coherent interpretation so far as you've shown.  Simply believing whatever you want seems inconsistant with the premise that the bible is god's word and the basis for the correct theology. 

I allready know you can ignore the contradictions and not have a conflict in what's left, I want to know how the 'liberal' christians who still claim to be theists and christians and hold the bible to be the word of god produce a coherent message from the bible.

This has yet to be answered except by rejecting the premises entirely, such as by deciding certain parts are not god's word and not the basis for the correct theology.

Quote:

But I'm a theist.




And yet you don't appear to take the bible to be revelation from god and the foundation of a theology so it doesn't matter. 



Quote:

The purpose of the physics publication example was to illustrate the relative nature of coherence. What is coherent for one may not be for another. I don't think this is a bad thing.




And what does that have to do with anything?  I understand the point, I don't see the relevance.  I asked if a coherent message can be derived from the bible give the premises fundamental to christianity.  Whether or not any given person can accomplish this has no relevance that I can see, nor do you show any.

Quote:

Freedom said:

Is there any non-problematic system of thought, other than perhaps pure mathematics?




I don't know- who cares?

I don't purport to have revelation from an omniscient and omnipotent being that created the world and provided a theology for those he created in his image and loves.  You seem to offer the same point Kickle does, but it seems irrelevant for the same reason. Incoherent interpretations of some ordinary message are not inconsistent with that message being an ordinary message.  The lack of coherence in a message revealed to humanity by a loving, omniscient, creator of the universe for purposes of instructing humanity as to his wishes is inconsistent with this status.


Quote:

iThink said:
Quote:

Kickle said:
I'm providing an interpretation of the Bible that I find coherent. I don't expect myself to understand every little detail of the Bible because it is an unrealistic expectation given my own ignorance of story origins and historical context. But I'm a theist. I also read a wide variety of writings from other religions, philosophers and scientists. There is no inherent conflict on my end and also the reason
that having the responsibility on the individual doing the reading is helpful in my case.

The purpose of the physics publication example was to illustrate the relative nature of coherence. What is coherent for one may not be for another. I don't think this is a bad thing.




You're a theist? :eek:





Yeah, that surprises me too.  I wonder what source he has as to the will of god that i seem to lack.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16171840 - 05/02/12 05:27 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

what exactly do you mean by, 'reducing the bible to just another mythical tale'?


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Freedom]
    #16171944 - 05/02/12 05:56 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

have you ever heard anyone explain in positive terms how to read the book?




I think this is asking the impossible, because its not literal. Its like asking for instructions on how to taste wine or listen to music. You have to taste, you have to listen. What more can you say? Music conveys emotion, but no one can tell you that you should feel x emotion when note y follows note z. Even if they did, I don't think you could use this intellectual knowledge to feel the emotion, its something spontaneous and if you don't feel it when you hear the music, then the music isn't working.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: 4896744]
    #16172103 - 05/02/12 06:35 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

iThink said:
Quote:

Kickle said:
I'm providing an interpretation of the Bible that I find coherent. I don't expect myself to understand every little detail of the Bible because it is an unrealistic expectation given my own ignorance of story origins and historical context. But I'm a theist. I also read a wide variety of writings from other religions, philosophers and scientists. There is no inherent conflict on my end and also the reason
that having the responsibility on the individual doing the reading is helpful in my case.

The purpose of the physics publication example was to illustrate the relative nature of coherence. What is coherent for one may not be for another. I don't think this is a bad thing.




You're a theist? :eek:




:lol:

Yeah. I don't give any form it takes much credibility but I don't deny it either. I trust myself enough to let it be as it is.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Kickle]
    #16172129 - 05/02/12 06:40 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

John, no one can speak for another. I spoke from my own non-literal view and find it coherent. You don't have to because you aren't me :cheers:


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Freedom]
    #16172225 - 05/02/12 07:03 PM (10 years, 2 months ago)

i'd like to offer a few points as well that may help us sort this out.

for starters, i think it would be good, at least for the sake of keeping this discussion focused, to work off the assumption that there is only one correct version of the bible out there. i've contributed what has been told to me by a few different scholars which bible seems to be the best. the debate over the quality of this bible's translation is certainly valid, and certainly being debated today, but that's a subject that's beyond my pay grade, and by my estimation everyone else's in this thread. aside from that, at least at our level, that doesn't have much to do with how the bible is interpreted by devotees.

i would classify interpretations of the bible in three large families:
the catholic (i'll lump in greek orthodox in this classification for simplicity), the protestant, and the mystical interpretation. in the case of the mystical interpretation, this interpretation also has catholic and protestant versions, but can stand alone by itself, hence the separate classification.

here's my basic rundown of each of these interpretations. someone please correct me if i'm wrong b/c as mentioned, i am not a religious scholar.

catholic - scripture has three or four different but parallel meanings that are each cumulatively abstracted from the receiver depending on their ability to reason. for example, if you're a simple person, you're going to get the moral, or pedagogical aspect of the teachings; the fable aspect so to speak. if you're not so simple, you'll get the pedagogical along with the metaphorical that allude to the mysteries of the soul and its relationship to the trinity. and if you're even brighter you'll catch the even deeper aspects that build on that mystery. classically, the people who get the most of it are the ones who are fit to enter the priesthood in order to propagate the cycle of spiritually evolving a population.

protestant - big difference from the catholic interpretation. going back to martin luther, there is only one message that's being conveyed, hence the lack of need for clergy (at least in the sense as the catholics have clergy) in protestant churches. effectively everyone is a priest.

moreover, when you talk about what's literal and what isn't, both the catholic and the protestant accept a mixture of both. generally speaking, both schools of thought accept the historicity of christ along with all of the miracles associated with his life, death and rebirth. as far as the rest of the doctrines go, there's just too much to summarize because of the diversity of opinions.

like i said, both catholic and protestant have mystical sects, but there are also "stand alone" mystical christianity sects like the theosophical society, who essentially believe that all of the bible is just allegorical. i don't know a lot about theosophy but that's my general impression. i'm interested in learning more about it because it's my understanding that it's something that a lot of high level christians like pastors and bishops etc. are personally into in spite of their day jobs.

hope that helps.


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Edited by millzy (05/02/12 07:18 PM)


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Freedom]
    #16175686 - 05/03/12 09:56 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Freedom said:
what exactly do you mean by, 'reducing the bible to just another mythical tale'?




I could hardly imagine how this could be more clear given the tedious descriptions of my thesis I've laid out previously.

Christians take the bible to be the word of god in some form or another.  You could also take the bible to describe mythical events but not being produced by god for the establishment of his theology on earth.  'Reducing the bible to just another mythical tale' means treating the bible the same way you'd treat any other old book appearing to describe historical events but containing fantastic tales and numerous inconsistencies.

If you dismiss portions of the bible due to disagreement with the message, it seems you must be acting inconsistently with the first view.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16175989 - 05/03/12 12:04 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

ok I'm just making sure, it sounds like the problem you're pointing out is simply taking some parts of the bible literally and some parts non literally.

I've never heard of people doing this, either people take it all as literal truth or all as non literal, or that its all literal and its all literal. I've never heard of anyone saying some parts are literal and some parts are non literal.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Freedom]
    #16176238 - 05/03/12 01:24 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Freedom said:
ok I'm just making sure, it sounds like the problem you're pointing out is simply taking some parts of the bible literally and some parts non literally.




Yes, I do think this occurs and is a problem for those claiming the bible to have some theological authority, but more to the point is that I doubt it is even possible to take the bible non-litterally and still produce a coherent meaning without either arbitrary exceptions/rules or rejecting the premise that the bible is god's word.

Quote:


I've never heard of people doing this, either people take it all as literal truth or all as non literal, or that its all literal and its all literal.




I've not heard anyone admit they do so, but i think many take the bible literally in some parts and not in the other.  Generally they seem to make up some ad hoc interpretive method to avoid the parts they don't like.  For example, many christians, including those who generally take the bible as needing some degree of interpretation (such as catholics) will claim that all the rules regarding how to keep slaves, sell your children, prepare food, and kill anyone who works on the sabbath are not relevant somehow to christians today.  Yet they will take the other passages of the very same book (leviticus, for example) to litterally condemn homosexuality.  (they have another out too: they claim the sermon on the mount repealed the law, yet they demand other laws be enforced such as the ten commandments and the gay thing)


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16176453 - 05/03/12 02:29 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

What would it be like.. if the first version of the bible or any other bibles were written on something like Facebook?


--------------------
Before DMT...

"What is the meaning of life?" and "What happens after we die?"

After DMT...

"What am I?" and "How is it possible to just be? instead of I or mine?"

I spend a lot of time in my head.. you know.. that other dimension.  I love lucid dreams, the other other dimension.  I question about death.. the other other other dimension And I am learning how to make this one like the others.

That's a cool quote.. I've got to admit.. I just thought of it.. - Tawnchan


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16176865 - 05/03/12 04:20 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

do you think anything non literal could could have logical consistency (which is what I take you to mean by coherent)?

It seems to me that a defining characteristic of the non literal is that it is not logical.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Freedom]
    #16176977 - 05/03/12 04:47 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Freedom said:
do you think anything non literal could could have logical consistency (which is what I take you to mean by coherent)?




Of course.

Literal=f(x)

non-literal interpretation could be, the absolute value of f(x)

The two are not equivalent, but the interpretation is a function of the litteral language, and hence introduces no incoherency, per se.  Further, it has no arbitrary exceptions or ad hoc rules.

There's a limitless number of ways to interpret anything, and like the mathmatical example, there's no reason any given one needs to be inconsistant or with ad hoc exceptions.  It just so happens that the interpretations of the bible are stymied by the contradictions in the text, the profoundly illogical and immoral instructions, and hence the believers tend to ignore it as it causes great dissonance.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16177023 - 05/03/12 04:56 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

the profoundly illogical and immoral instructions




While I completely agree that Christianity is an unsupported fairy tale for people scared of death, I disagree that following its commandments is illogical and immoral.

The thought of a meaningless and finite existence is too much for most people to handle apparently. In order to repress this admittance, it makes sense to cling to meaning systems that have lots of validation from peers. When you have tons of people pretending with you, it is much easier to keep doubts to a minimum.

They are essentially given the choice between constant terror or enough peace of mind to at least continue living and even have some enjoyment.  Since satisfying emotional yearnings is the goal of humans, it makes sense to hold back applying logic to a few areas so as to reap the emotional benefits.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16177127 - 05/03/12 05:15 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

johnm214 said:
Christians take the bible to be the word of god in some form or another.  You could also take the bible to describe mythical events but not being produced by god for the establishment of his theology on earth.  'Reducing the bible to just another mythical tale' means treating the bible the same way you'd treat any other old book appearing to describe historical events but containing fantastic tales and numerous inconsistencies.

If you dismiss portions of the bible due to disagreement with the message, it seems you must be acting inconsistently with the first view.




an interesting counterpoint to your claim is that now (and perhaps always) it's important to be choosy about which things as a devotee someone accepts as part of their own spiritual worldview. a perfect example of this is women. historically, religious doctrine has been used as the marginalization and abuse of women, and christianity is by no means an exception. yet the vast majority of christian women subscribe to the value of gender equality. it's really not that cut and dry.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16177143 - 05/03/12 05:18 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

but it would be that cut and dry if you believed that god was omnipotent and honest and had written the bible (even if through man).

if god knows everything and is telling the truth, how can you disregard even one thing he says, even if it clashes with your humanistic values?


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Edited by Freedom (05/03/12 05:20 PM)


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16177192 - 05/03/12 05:25 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

iThink said:
Quote:

the profoundly illogical and immoral instructions




While I completely agree that Christianity is an unsupported fairy tale for people scared of death, I disagree that following its commandments is illogical and immoral.




I didn't suggest to the contrary- I said the book's instructions are immoral and illogical.  Whether its logical to follow the illogical in certain circumstances is a different question.

Quote:

millzy said:


an interesting counterpoint to your claim is that now (and perhaps always) it's important to be choosy about which things as a devotee someone accepts as part of their own spiritual worldview. a perfect example of this is women. historically, religious doctrine has been used as the marginalization and abuse of women, and christianity is by no means an exception. yet the vast majority of christian women subscribe to the value of gender equality. it's really not that cut and dry.





yeah, and the mosques of the islamic world are full of women- despite the fact they are forced to be in cloth bags while entering in many areas.  Then they are forced into a little corner and allowed no contact with the men while praying. 

Christopher Hitchens has said he feels they put up with it in some cases where they aren't forced to by violence simply out of fear for the wellbeing of their children- though this seems somewhat unsatisfying for me.  While the islamic world does have a much reduced lifespan, still a good number of women are going to be unfertile and have grown children.  I imagine the cultural pressure for conformity and submission that women face is likely a factor, especially in muslim areas which are bigoted almost by definition.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16177216 - 05/03/12 05:29 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

that sounds like an ignorant position

it seems more of a cultural taboo relating to sex and sexual attraction

women aren't alowed to walk around with their crotch hanging out in western countries, so they are also forced to wear 'bags'


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Edited by Freedom (05/03/12 05:30 PM)


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Freedom]
    #16177247 - 05/03/12 05:36 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Freedom said:
but it would be that cut and dry if you believed that god was omnipotent and honest and had written the bible (even if through man).

if god knows everything and is telling the truth, how can you disregard even one thing he says, even if it clashes with your humanistic values?




the bible was divinely revealed. god didn't write anything. and as i mentioned in my rather lengthy reply yesterday, there is a myriad of views on how the bible is to be taken. the view you're describing is that of a fundamentalist. fundamentalism is hardly the only biblical perspective out there - in fact it's like the top 40 music of religion.

also, what do you mean by "humanistic" values? humanism, as a philosophical school of thought, was about religious reform but never outright dismissal. it is a razing criticism of scholasticism in the middle ages and a call for emphasis on how to perfect the individual in this world rather than prepare them for the next.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16177260 - 05/03/12 05:39 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

sorry i just meant a human perspective

so you're saying you could attribute the logical inconsistencies to the people who wrote the revelation down?  if they made mistakes how could you trust anything they wrote?


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16177267 - 05/03/12 05:40 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

I didn't suggest to the contrary- I said the book's instructions are immoral and illogical.  Whether its logical to follow the illogical in certain circumstances is a different question.




Ya, you are right. You are always very consistent and precise with your writing, but I just thought it was a point worth making.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Freedom]
    #16177284 - 05/03/12 05:44 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Freedom said:
that sounds like an ignorant position

it seems more of a cultural taboo relating to sex and sexual attraction





What's ignorant about it? 

What does it "seem more of" than?  I don't recall attributing forcing women to stay inside cloth bags to anything, so I can't see how you can decide that attribution insufficient.  You say its "more of a cultural taboo"- relative to what?

Throughout this thread it seems like your making these objections founded on premises that weren't presumed.

Quote:

women aren't alowed to walk around with their crotch hanging out in western countries, so they are also forced to wear 'bags'




How does that follow?  In western countries women aren't allowed to have their crotch 'hanging out', therefore they are forced to wear bags?  Huh?


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16177287 - 05/03/12 05:44 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

johnm214 said:
the islamic world




you're arguing beside the point. islam is completely different. the koran is the word of god. the bible can be thought of as more of a message from god that, over the course of history, scholars have attempted to decipher as best as possible. there is a huge difference between christians and muslims in this sense. people use the term "muslim fundamentalist" and it's misleading because all muslims are fundamentalists. and not so coincidentally, this stasis in worldview is the root cause of all of the social problems in islamic society.

i take hitchens' opinions on this subject with an atom sized grain of salt, and this is why. you can't lump all this stuff together. you can't reduce these vastly differing, extremely complex sets of beliefs into one thing.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Freedom]
    #16177305 - 05/03/12 05:48 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Freedom said:
so you're saying you could attribute the logical inconsistencies to the people who wrote the revelation down?  if they made mistakes how could you trust anything they wrote?




i wouldn't say logical inconsistencies, but christianity continues to rewrite itself. it does so over very long periods of time, but it is a tradition that is changing. i think the main problem with this tradition is that it doesn't change quickly enough to fit the times. culture is now accelerating far beyond the rate that christianity is. perhaps we need something better. i don't know. :shrug:

i'm not christian btw.


--------------------
I'm up to my ears in unwritten words. - J.D. Salinger


Edited by millzy (05/03/12 05:50 PM)


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16177308 - 05/03/12 05:49 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

millzy said:
Quote:

johnm214 said:
the islamic world




you're arguing beside the point. islam is completely different. the koran is the word of god. the bible can be thought of as more of a message from god that, over the course of history, scholars have attempted to decipher as best as possible. there is a huge difference between christians and muslims in this sense. people use the term "muslim fundamentalist" and it's misleading because all muslims are fundamentalists. and not so coincidentally, this stasis in worldview is the root cause of all of the social problems in islamic society.





How does any of this suggest I'm "arguing beside the point", as you've said? 

Quote:


i take hitchens' opinions on this subject with an atom sized grain of salt, and this is why. you can't lump all this stuff together. you can't reduce these vastly differing, extremely complex sets of beliefs into one thing.




Where is it suggested he did?

Why can't you?

The Abrahamic theologies share a number of similarities and can easily be reduced to common traits.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16177383 - 05/03/12 06:06 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

johnm214 said:
How does any of this suggest I'm "arguing beside the point", as you've said?




we're talking about christianity. you're talking about islam. the two traditions are different in regard to what's being discussed, therefore you are arguing beside the point.

Quote:

Why can't you?

The Abrahamic theologies share a number of similarities and can easily be reduced to common traits.




the abrahamic traditions also have a lot of differences, and in regard to how scripture is treated, none of them are alike. because of this you can't lump them together in this way. the abrahamic traditions are grouped because they reference each other. but you must understand that they are each unique traditions with many sub sects (especially in the case of christianity). from my impression, people like hitchens, dawkins etc. attempt to reduce them in this way and treat them all like one thing, and it's not even remotely useful to the conversation because it's simply not true. it's not a matter of belief or disbelief; it's just not the facts.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16177463 - 05/03/12 06:27 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

yeah, and the mosques of the islamic world are full of women- despite the fact they are forced to be in cloth bags while entering in many areas.




maybe I am presuming to much, i presume you mean a veil or burkah when you say cloth bag. By force I presume you mean some kind of threat of persuction. Honestly im not sure how this relates to what milzy said as he was talking about christianity so it seems out of context, so searching for a related general context I go back to your statment about immorality and milzys response about women equality.

so with all that, I think it is ignorant to simply say women are forced, as many of them choose and prefer to wear a veil or burkah, just as many secular women prefer to wear cloth around their geneitals or breasts. In each case you could argue they are forced since they would be persucuted, yet many of them choose to cover different parts of their bodies.

when you ask what the cultural taboo is relative to, I don't know what you mean, taboos relate to people, taboos are beliefs that organize how people behave and ow they relate to one another. Perhaps there are interesting anthropological theories about why women where these things, but its clear that the cultural belief is that women should hide their beauty, that which attracts men.

so i make the comparison to the cloth bags westerners put around themselves (pants or skirts or shorts) to the cloth bags you seem to refer to.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Freedom]
    #16177538 - 05/03/12 06:49 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

some muslim women are forced to wear burqas in certain countries, and others, some choose to wear them as an expression of religious devotion.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16177881 - 05/03/12 08:12 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

gotta love a religion that forces women to wear bags. :thumbup:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
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Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander]
    #16178051 - 05/03/12 08:47 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
gotta love a religion that forces women to wear bags. :thumbup:




see post above. many muslim women in countries where they aren't required to wear burqas do so as a public exhibit of they're religious devotion.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy] * 1
    #16178127 - 05/03/12 09:02 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Doesn't help the ones that are forced does it?


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander]
    #16178204 - 05/03/12 09:19 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
Doesn't help the ones that are forced does it?




about as much as a fallacious statement about the tradition. technically, governments are who force women to wear burqas. i won't defend the mistreatment of women in arabic muslic theocracies, but islam exists outside of those countries where that happens.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander] * 1
    #16178212 - 05/03/12 09:20 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Don't forget those who choose to wear it as a fashion statement.



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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16185309 - 05/05/12 11:18 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

"Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible"

yes there is, and it's the only interpretation that matters, and that is your own interpretation.


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vi veri veniversum vivus vici

What she said :
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Early death
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Kickle]
    #16185564 - 05/05/12 12:46 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

desert father said:
"Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible"

yes there is, and it's the only interpretation that matters, and that is your own interpretation.





So you say, but provide no evidence or reasoning.

My interpretation of the bible is not coherent, which I thought was obvious given the discussion in the original post.  Please provide some evidence that you, me, or anyone has a coherent interpretation of the bible- which is also what I asked for in the original post. :rolleyes:


Quote:

Kickle said:
Quote:

iThink said:
Quote:

Kickle said:
I'm providing an interpretation of the Bible that I find coherent. I don't expect myself to understand every little detail of the Bible because it is an unrealistic expectation given my own ignorance of story origins and historical context. But I'm a theist. I also read a wide variety of writings from other religions, philosophers and scientists. There is no inherent conflict on my end and also the reason
that having the responsibility on the individual doing the reading is helpful in my case.

The purpose of the physics publication example was to illustrate the relative nature of coherence. What is coherent for one may not be for another. I don't think this is a bad thing.




You're a theist? :eek:




:lol:

Yeah. I don't give any form it takes much credibility but I don't deny it either. I trust myself enough to let it be as it is.





This seems like it might be contradictory.  How do you have a theology you believe to be true yet not give it much credibility?  It seems this conflicts with the very definition of a theist- at minimum you must have some theology that you believe which has something to say about the mind of god, his wishes, et cet.  If you don't believe this, in what sense are you a theist?


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16185644 - 05/05/12 01:11 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

lol, what do you mean evidence.

what i or anyone else thinks of the bible doesn't matter, it's what you think of it that does.

you want evidence that you are your own unique person, with a unique set of senses, experiencing life in your own unique way, and that only your own impression of individual experiences should matter to you?

are you delusional?

oh yea, and this :rolleyes:


--------------------
vi veri veniversum vivus vici

What she said :
"I smoke 'cos I'm hoping for an
Early death
AND I NEED TO CLING TO SOMETHING !"


Edited by desert father (05/05/12 01:14 PM)


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: desert father]
    #16186843 - 05/05/12 06:54 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)



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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16187013 - 05/05/12 07:32 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:


This seems like it might be contradictory.  How do you have a theology you believe to be true yet not give it much credibility?  It seems this conflicts with the very definition of a theist- at minimum you must have some theology that you believe which has something to say about the mind of god, his wishes, et cet.  If you don't believe this, in what sense are you a theist?





I'm a theist in that I believe there is a/are deit(y)ies. And I don't hold any of the structures built around this/these seriously due to impermanence. I do share the vision of such stories and descriptions often though. So the stories have relevance in my life, including the descriptions of deities.

I once made a post about Icelander being a Gatekeeper. That's a Buddhist deity. In Icelanders case, I was referencing a deity named Yamantaka that has perfected nihilism and with this perfection guards the Southern gate to Enlightenment. This deity is often depicted with a skull in hand and fearsome features. He is also described as "wrathful" but in Buddhism a wrathful deity is not evil, it is one that is hard to swallow for most because fear gets in the way. A wrathful deity helps to address these fearful aspects of the world that we do not want to address.

This is not to say that Icelander is literally a Buddhist deity, but rather that at that time he was symbolic of such a deity to me. And with that view I proceeded to apply what he wrote as a means to propel my own journey towards enlightenment, trusting that gate. And it worked for that goal. What that means I have no idea and I don't dwell on it much. Like I said, it's an impermanent phenomena, likely not existing a single moment longer than it did as an experience. So I would not suggest it for others as a rule, as though it were a permanently existing phenomena. In this way dogma strikes me as a misguided notion of the permanence of stories.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Kickle] * 1
    #16187043 - 05/05/12 07:38 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

i think icelander is just generally misinformed. lol.

sorry icelander. :shrug:


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16187067 - 05/05/12 07:44 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Are you saying that you are not misinformed?

I'll openly admit I am either missing information or have heard wrong information about hundreds if not thousands of everyday things. Let alone what the universe contains.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Kickle] * 1
    #16187098 - 05/05/12 07:52 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
Are you saying that you are not misinformed?

I'll openly admit I am either missing information or have heard wrong information about hundreds if not thousands of everyday things. Let alone what the universe contains.




i'm not claiming to be an authority on anything, but i do feel comfortable in sufficiently backing my claims, especially in conversations like this. for whatever that's worth. i could be mistaken but the general impression i get of him and a few other posters is that he's quick to make claims about very complicated subjects that are too generalized to have any validity.

that's not a personal attack btw. i don't know the guy and have no axe to grind; i just generally disagree with his positions.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16187112 - 05/05/12 07:57 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

he's quick to make claims about very complicated subjects that are too generalized to have any validity.

Can you give an example and explain the way in which it lacks validity? I've found him very open in this regard :thumbup:. Plus since I share many of the same views it could be very useful to hear your arguments.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16187148 - 05/05/12 08:03 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

millzy said:
i think icelander is just generally misinformed. lol.

sorry icelander. :shrug:




Another classic well thought out debate post by millzy. :thumbup:

How am I misinformed?


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander]
    #16187181 - 05/05/12 08:08 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
Quote:

millzy said:
i think icelander is just generally misinformed. lol.

sorry icelander. :shrug:




Another classic well thought out debate post by millzy. :thumbup:

How am I misinformed?




you tend to be reductionist in your assertions. you make sweeping generalizations about extremely complex subjects that are false. at least in the discussions i pay attention to.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Kickle]
    #16187191 - 05/05/12 08:10 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
he's quick to make claims about very complicated subjects that are too generalized to have any validity.

Can you give an example and explain the way in which it lacks validity? I've found him very open in this regard :thumbup:. Plus since I share many of the same views it could be very useful to hear your arguments.




see earlier in this thread his comment about islamic women and burqas.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16187234 - 05/05/12 08:16 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

To some extent I agree with you. It's human beings who force women to cover themselves, not a religion. But they are doing so under a religious tutelage. You cite that Islam exists in countries that do not mandate such measures, and suggest that it is the government that is responsible. Why would the government mandate such a thing? You don't think it's related to their populace, which is Islamic?


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16187253 - 05/05/12 08:20 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

everything in life is extremely complex and any "understanding" is a sweeping generalization.

without these distinctions or lines drawn in the sand we would not have a stance on any subject in life.

your glass is just half empty when it comes to your view on icelander.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: desert father]
    #16187351 - 05/05/12 08:38 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
To some extent I agree with you. It's human beings who force women to cover themselves, not a religion. But they are doing so under a religious tutelage. You cite that Islam exists in countries that do not mandate such measures, and suggest that it is the government that is responsible. Why would the government mandate such a thing? You don't think it's related to their populace, which is Islamic?




i'm not arguing that in countries where women are forced to wear burqas that the law isn't based on religion. i'm arguing a) that there are countries that don't foist such a practice on its citizenry, and its muslim citizenry still engage in it, and b) yes, it's governments i.e. people who devise and enforce such laws in the first place. the medium by which a tradition is interpreted and integrated into a society is people.

Quote:

desert father said:
everything in life is extremely complex and any "understanding" is a sweeping generalization.

without these distinctions or lines drawn in the sand we would not have a stance on any subject in life.

your glass is just half empty when it comes to your view on icelander.




no. "understanding" any subject means you have a grasp on it enough to not make incorrect statements, and in the case mentioned above (i'm just using that b/c it's in this thread) icelander is making an incorrect statement.

and all that aside, this discussion has absolutely nothing to do with islam. arguing. beside. the. point.


--------------------
I'm up to my ears in unwritten words. - J.D. Salinger


Edited by millzy (05/05/12 08:39 PM)


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16187377 - 05/05/12 08:45 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

millzy said:
Quote:

Icelander said:
Quote:

millzy said:
i think icelander is just generally misinformed. lol.

sorry icelander. :shrug:




Another classic well thought out debate post by millzy. :thumbup:

How am I misinformed?




you tend to be reductionist in your assertions. you make sweeping generalizations about extremely complex subjects that are false. at least in the discussions i pay attention to.




How are they  false. Better come up with some examples so you can school me.

Religious practice is what religion is all about. If muslims force women to wear certain things based on religious belief then the religion is the tool to oppress women.  It doesn't really matter what the holy book says but it does matter what people do in the name of that book.  People are religion they created it and wrote the book and interpret it according to their needs.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander]
    #16187382 - 05/05/12 08:46 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

i came up with an example from this thread, so consider yourself schooled.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16187390 - 05/05/12 08:49 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Yeah that's fair. Lots of folks take shots at religious atrocities where they can, even if it's not a strictly black/white situation. This forum is one of the few outlets for such behaviors in a public sphere. Especially for the older crowd here who grew up in a much different climate.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16187398 - 05/05/12 08:50 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

millzy said:
i came up with an example from this thread, so consider yourself schooled.





Hardly. Address my post above.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Kickle]
    #16187401 - 05/05/12 08:52 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

i'm not even saying that those criticisms are unjustified. i have plenty of my own. but fair is fair, and religion is a very complicated subject that demands more than an all-or-nothing attitude in order to seriously discuss it.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16187405 - 05/05/12 08:53 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Some are not interested in discussing it and I can't blame them one bit. Religion in many individual's lives has been a fucked up and oppressive presence.


--------------------
Being unable to make what is just strong,
we have made what is strong just. -- Pascal

Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16187406 - 05/05/12 08:53 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

What exactly is so complicated about religion?


--------------------
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" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: desert father]
    #16187422 - 05/05/12 08:57 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Kickle said:
Quote:


This seems like it might be contradictory.  How do you have a theology you believe to be true yet not give it much credibility?  It seems this conflicts with the very definition of a theist- at minimum you must have some theology that you believe which has something to say about the mind of god, his wishes, et cet.  If you don't believe this, in what sense are you a theist?





I'm a theist in that I believe there is a/are deit(y)ies. And I don't hold any of the structures built around this/these seriously due to impermanence. I do share the vision of such stories and descriptions often though. So the stories have relevance in my life, including the descriptions of deities.





This simply doesn't seem to satisfy the definition of a theist.  You appear to be describing a deist's position.

As applied to various religious beliefs and the distinctions between them, theism generally requires a theology: some belief that god exists and has revealed his mind to you.  You believe there are certain things god wants of you, or wants you not to do, and so on.


I think some of those definitions are too constrained, as most of the discussions I've read/seen regarding these matters would clearly not restrain a theist to one god.  I also don't get the philosophy dictionary's suggestion that god doesn't have absolute power- that seems like an unnecessary restriction.  (I know general-purpose dictionaries aren't much use when referring to terms used by a specific field or in a particular context, but I included it cuz it agrees with me :p )

Quote:

desert father said:
lol, what do you mean evidence.




That's not a promising start to a post where you've been called upon to defend your claims.  Your free to justify your claims by any method, but how do you suppose to do so without evidence? 

Quote:


what i or anyone else thinks of the bible doesn't matter, it's what you think of it that does.




So what?  What does this second unsupported claim have to do with anything?

Quote:

you want evidence that you are your own unique person, with a unique set of senses, experiencing life in your own unique way, and that only your own impression of individual experiences should matter to you?





Sounds like a straw man- I asked you to back up what you said, not all this bullshit.  But since you broached the topic: yes.  Let's hear some support for the claim that only my own impression of individual experiences should matter to me?  Seems obviously specious- much of my education would have been helplessly dilated and expensive without the aid of other people's individual experiences. Your suggestion would cripple science and many other fields and take mankind to a position similar to what he'd be at if he couldn't communicate- as everything must be derived from scratch, nothing relying upon the observations of prior scientists.



Quote:

are you delusional?

oh yea, and this :rolleyes:





Please point out anywhere you addressed the question even obliquely.  As far as I can see, you didn't.  If you aren't going to back up your claims, and then respond to challenges with yet more unsupported claims, insults, and fallacies, I think we can do without your help in this thread.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander] * 1
    #16187424 - 05/05/12 08:58 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

you must have edited your post while i was replying icelander.

Quote:

Icelander said:
Religious practice is what religion is all about. If muslims force women to wear certain things based on religious belief then the religion is the tool to oppress women.




religious practice, outside of theocracies, is about choice. muslim women choose to follow that tradition. i do agree that it's repressive, but that doesn't change that fact.

Quote:

It doesn't really matter what the holy book says but it does matter what people do in the name of that book.




no. we're talking about christianity and the bible, not islam. in addition to being wrong, your statement has nothing to do with the discussion.

Quote:

People are religion they created it and wrote the book and interpret it according to their needs.




again, irrelevant statement.

i know you won't admit that you're wrong, but that's the case.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander]
    #16187430 - 05/05/12 08:59 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
What exactly is so complicated about religion?




i don't know, everything.

:awewtf:


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16187461 - 05/05/12 09:11 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

muslim women choose to follow that tradition.

all of them? Freely?  really? and you know this how? 

I've never talked about christianity with you in this thread. I've been speaking of Islam  but every thing I say applies to all religions.

IMO what people do in the name of their religion has the most to do with that religion.  The books can be interpreted any old way to justify any old thing.

But I do agree that you don't know what is complicated about religion. In that you are correct.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


Edited by Icelander (05/05/12 09:28 PM)


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander]
    #16187570 - 05/05/12 09:40 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
muslim women choose to follow that tradition.

all of them? Freely? really? and you know this how?


 

nope, that isn't what i said at all. not all musims practice freely, but a lot do. in fact the majority of muslims practice their tradition out of their own volition. it's simple logic; there are more muslims than those who live in muslim theocracies.

Quote:

I've never talked about christianity with you in this thread. I've been speaking of Islam  but every thing I say applies to all religions.




how do your assertions apply to a discussion about how christians interpret the bible?

Quote:

IMO what people do in the name of their religion has the most to do with that religion. The books can be interpreted any old way to justify any old thing.




if people revise religion to suit their purposes, what, or more appropriately who, is to blame again for people's actions?

Quote:

But I do agree that you don't know what is complicated about religion. In that you are correct.




cool story bro.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16187759 - 05/05/12 10:28 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

It would be very difficult to make the case that religious people practice of their own volition due to the religious indoctrination given from birth in their culture.  This is why most americans are christian and not muslim or buddhist. 

I know I practiced christianity due to my programming and not of my own volition.  Very little of what we do if any is of our own volition imo.

It's pretty obvious to all with eyes to see that christians interpret their bible in the same way that other religions interpret their texts.  Or there would be total agreement on interpretation of  texts in all religions.

And of course people are ultimately responsible for their actions. They are also ultimately responsible for the creation of their religious texts. Do you think god did it?

It's a cool story because it's your story. :thumbup:  I was quoting you.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander]
    #16187782 - 05/05/12 10:37 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Some blame nature to be responsible for their actions :shrug:


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: BlueCoyote]
    #16187812 - 05/05/12 10:49 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

I don't understand how you expect such constants among human beings

edit : ^ directed to op, hit reply my bad


Edited by Kupo (05/05/12 10:49 PM)


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander] * 1
    #16188075 - 05/06/12 12:00 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
It would be very difficult to make the case that religious people practice of their own volition due to the religious indoctrination given from birth in their culture.  This is why most americans are christian and not muslim or buddhist.

I know I practiced christianity due to my programming and not of my own volition.  Very little of what we do if any is of our own volition imo.




there is a stark difference between convention and living in a theocracy. someone may be raised x in a free society, but it is ultimately their choice whether or not they choose to embrace that path when they become adults. you made the choice to abandon your tradition; what makes you so special? when the state gets involved, the ability to make that choice becomes compromised, at least at the public level.

Quote:

It's pretty obvious to all with eyes to see that christians interpret their bible in the same way that other religions interpret their texts.  Or there would be total agreement on interpretation of  texts in all religions.




no, the contrary of what you're saying is what is obvious. christianity is an ocean of differing views on how scripture is interpreted, hence the catholic, protestant and mystical schools and all of their sub sects. a more appropriate term is "christianities" rather than christianity. this same principle can be applied to judaism and islam, which is why making blanket statements about the abrahamic traditions, insofar as the way you are making them, is erroneous.

Quote:

And of course people are ultimately responsible for their actions. They are also ultimately responsible for the creation of their religious texts. Do you think god did it?




you're arguing false cause. you contradict yourself by saying that religion is a cause of evil because people created it. people have created religion, and people are ultimately responsible for their actions. it's obvious that religion is marshaled in order to exert some sort of control over a population, but i would argue that in most cases where that control is being abused the teachings themselves are being distorted in a way that serve individual or ruling minority interests rather than there being a problem with the ethos of the teachings themselves.

Quote:

It's a cool story because it's your story. :thumbup:  I was quoting you.




you completely misunderstood my initial reply. what i am saying is that everything is complicated about religion. you seem to disagree with that notion. and from my end, that disagreement, on your end, comes from your complete lack of understanding of the intricacies of religion. therefore you are misinformed as i originally stated.

you say it's simple, i'm saying not so much.

like i said earlier, i don't have an issue with people criticizing religion, but at least know wtf you're talking about if you do so.


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Edited by millzy (05/06/12 04:53 AM)


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16188945 - 05/06/12 05:34 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

I made a choice to try to abandon my religions. I've never been fully able to. IMO the state is always involved in religion because ultimately religion is a tool of the state and culture.


christianity is an ocean of differing views on how scripture is interpreted

According to what I've been reading basically the same thing has been going on in islam. That is why there are varying rules as to what is acceptable behavior for women and what is the meaning of jihad etc.  I really don't see your case on this at all.  The only difference is Christianity has more names for their differing interpretations of scripture.

it's obvious that religion is marshaled in order to exert some sort of control over a population, but i would argue that in most cases where that control is being abused the teachings themselves are being distorted in a way that serve individual or ruling minority interests rather than there being a problem with the ethos of the teachings themselves.

Who decides when that control is being abused or what that abuse is?  Aren't teachings always open to interpretation. How do you know which are being distorted?  I can agree that all religions have some benign aspects to them but the very need for them leaves them open to such abuse due to the irrational nature of the beliefs themselves.  If you believe in a god with no evidence and you believe in a priesthood ordained by that god with no evidence then you'll believe anything pretty much.  What priesthood in what religion hasn't been political in some way?  It's the irrational nature of religion that scares me. It reflects a dangerous irrationality in humanity.  Just look a the crimes done in the name of religion. Yet they all profess to be based in love and good will.

It's not so complicated when you look at it like this. The prime motivators are the same throughout.  Fear and control on a personal and political level.  The only thing complicated is the ritual the psychology is pretty much the same all over.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander]
    #16189191 - 05/06/12 08:11 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

" The prime motivators are the same throughout.  Fear and control on a personal and political level."
Sorry to interrupt, but some folks still really look for a cause 'beyond' that, aka g*d. As g*d is hardly to be described, it's an easy thing to abuse it for the reasons you state.
But the search/story is not over just because people abuse religion for their own reasons.


--------------------
Though lovers be lost love shall not  And death shall have no dominion
......................................................
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16189216 - 05/06/12 08:28 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

johnm214 said:

---

What prompted this post:

I was watching a discussion where some 'sophisticated' catholic talked with nonbelievers about the importance of the church and made the usual disclaimer that he certainly wouldn't expect the bible to be true literally (he didn't mention how to decode the true meaning, they never do).  As he was pressed, however; he said Adam and Eve couldn't have been real people and that humans simply evolved from lower primates.


To the unsophisticated reader, myself, I would think this would be a rather fatal admission- how could this person be a catholic at all?  How could it be necessary to be baptized?  Why would the default disposition of people be hell?  Why would we need to meet in booths and tell old virgins that we're sorry for having masterbated?  Does this single admission not demolish the whole reason for Christ in the first place- and hence the whole of Christianity?

That's just one example of problems that arise from trying to reconcile credulous belief in authority with reality, but is there any non-problematic one?




Why quote a Catholic as an authority on Christianity?  They may be an authority on the Roman Catholic church, but that is not Christianity.  They believe that the RCC is the ultimate authority on all things related to Christianity.  Because Pope XYZ, or Council of XYZ is the ultimate authority.  They deny the supremacy of scripture as sole authority.  So of course they will have many doctrines that they created themselves, but are alien to scripture.  Every Christian knows they are Anti Christians who spread the false gospel of the RCC.


---
Steadfastly holding to the five points:

Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone")
Sola fide ("by faith alone")
Sola gratia ("by grace alone")
Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone")
Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone")

Also to the five points of the TULIP:
T - Total Depravity
U - Unconditional Election
L - Limited Atonement
I - Irresistible Grace
P - Preservation of the Saints


Edited by fivepointer (05/06/12 08:34 AM)


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16192188 - 05/06/12 10:42 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

fivepointer said:


Why quote a Catholic as an authority on Christianity?  They may be an authority on the Roman Catholic church, but that is not Christianity.




ugh, I really appreciate your views on this fivepointer, as one of our few christian members, but all this straw man crap is getting really, really, old.

Name on place I suggested anyone was an authority on anything- I didn't.  I observed a common explanation of 'sophisticated' believers, of which many protestants conform to, and it motivated a question I had.

Why do so many of these posts invent unstated claims when it comes to religion and spirituality?  The only other topic I've seen inspire this amount of nonsense is the Israeli/Palestinian question.


Quote:

mrspirit2 said:
I don't understand how you expect such constants among human beings

edit : ^ directed to op, hit reply my bad





Another straw man.  Where did I even remotely imply I expected 'such constants' among human beings?  The entire premise of this question was my doubt that there is a constant interpretation that can incorporate the christian beliefs.

Quote:

millzy said:


religious practice, outside of theocracies, is about choice. muslim women choose to follow that tradition. i do agree that it's repressive, but that doesn't change that fact.






Everyone faces compelling influences.  There is no bright line and to the extent your claim seems to rest on one, it seems it must fail.  Many in theocracies don't believe, violate the law, and so forth, and i see no relevant distinction to the compulsion one faces in a society of religious people who will shun them for unbelief that has no criminal penalties and one that does.

Quote:

millzy said:
Quote:

Icelander said:
Doesn't help the ones that are forced does it?




about as much as a fallacious statement about the tradition. technically, governments are who force women to wear burqas. i won't defend the mistreatment of women in arabic muslic theocracies, but islam exists outside of those countries where that happens.





So what?  This is not done "in the name of" Islam or represent some meerly antecedant or coincidant cultural practice, it is ordered and compelled as a direct consequence of god's word in the Quran and Hadith.  It is, moreover, expressly attributable to these divine instructions when the authorities issue their rulings.

O Prophet! Enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of true believers that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): That is most convenient, that they may be distinguished and not be harassed. [...]
(Quran 33:58–59)

Then Allah's Apostle got up and went away, and I too, followed him till he reached the door of 'Aisha's room. Then he thought that the people must have left the place by then, so he returned and I also returned with him. Behold, the people were still sitting at their places. So he went back again for the second time, and I went along with him too. When we reached the door of 'Aisha's room, he returned and I also returned with him to see that the people had left. Thereupon the Prophet hung a curtain between me and him and the Verse regarding the order for (veiling of women) Hijab was revealed.
Sahih Bukhari 7:65:375


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16192235 - 05/06/12 10:52 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

I think it i very possible to come up with a coherent interpretation of the Bible non-literally, but as soon as you open the door for a non-literal interpretation, you are inviting people to come up with their own. As such, you are never going to have a single interpretation of what people will come up with will be misguided and way off the mark.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16192259 - 05/06/12 10:58 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Are you saying the only reason muslim women cover their faces is because they think god orders it, or that they are compelled to by others because the others believe god commands it?

in the quote even god gives a practical reason other than it being the word of god.

and here to:

Quote:

And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their khimār over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. (Quran 24:31




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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Freedom]
    #16192294 - 05/06/12 11:07 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Trypppy said:
I think it i very possible to come up with a coherent interpretation of the Bible non-literally, but as soon as you open the door for a non-literal interpretation, you are inviting people to come up with their own. As such, you are never going to have a single interpretation of what people will come up with will be misguided and way off the mark.





I don't particularly care, the bible is misguided and off the mark anyways.

You do reveal the problem common to even the liberal theists who don't accept the bible as the word of god per se: they are still validating wishful beliefs and reinforcing illogical thinking.  This prevents you from diagnosing and improving upon problems.

In any case, the requirement was not simply a coherent interpretation, but one that is not inconsistant with the common Christian view: that the bible is god's word in some sense or another and that god loves us and revealed himself through it.  As discussed previously, you can interpret the bible to be bullshit and that's consistant, but it rejects the premise and thus fails to satisfy my query.  If you believe you do have a satisfactory interpretation, then please be the first to identify it.

Quote:

Freedom said:
Are you saying the only reason muslim women cover their faces is because they think god orders it, or that they are compelled to by others because the others believe god commands it?




No, of course not.  Nowhere in my post did I discuss 'the only reason muslim women cover their faces' (which isn't neccesarily required).

Quote:


in the quote even god gives a practical reason other than it being the word of god.





So what?

There are plenty of reasons to crawl inside cloth bags, I could name several more.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16192388 - 05/06/12 11:26 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

but all this straw man crap is getting really, really, old.




True, but it is a necessary tactic to hold on to make-believe stuff as close analysis reveals the absurdity. As you well know, the more tenuous the position, the more a debater relies on logical fallacy. This is a direct mathematical proportion.


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16192406 - 05/06/12 11:29 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

johnm214 said:
Quote:

Trypppy said:
I think it i very possible to come up with a coherent interpretation of the Bible non-literally, but as soon as you open the door for a non-literal interpretation, you are inviting people to come up with their own. As such, you are never going to have a single interpretation of what people will come up with will be misguided and way off the mark.





I don't particularly care, the bible is misguided and off the mark anyways.

You do reveal the problem common to even the liberal theists who don't accept the bible as the word of god per se: they are still validating wishful beliefs and reinforcing illogical thinking.  This prevents you from diagnosing and improving upon problems.

In any case, the requirement was not simply a coherent interpretation, but one that is not inconsistant with the common Christian view: that the bible is god's word in some sense or another and that god loves us and revealed himself through it.  As discussed previously, you can interpret the bible to be bullshit and that's consistant, but it rejects the premise and thus fails to satisfy my query.  If you believe you do have a satisfactory interpretation, then please be the first to identify it.





Ok, well I am not going to try and argue out each bible passage, but I could start with trying out some of the points you made earlier.
Quote:

johnm214 said:

To the unsophisticated reader, myself, I would think this would be a rather fatal admission- how could this person be a catholic at all?  How could it be necessary to be baptized?  Why would the default disposition of people be hell?  Why would we need to meet in booths and tell old virgins that we're sorry for having masterbated?  Does this single admission not demolish the whole reason for Christ in the first place- and hence the whole of Christianity?

That's just one example of problems that arise from trying to reconcile credulous belief in authority with reality, but is there any non-problematic one?



The bible includes multiple baptisms and emphasizes its importance, I am not sure how this could be viewed as inconsistent with the "common christian view.” The Catholic view is NOT that the default position of people be hell, that is a common protestant view though and I, being more familiar with catholic beliefs, cannot offer a proper response for their logic. Adam and Eve are believed by many (if not most) catholics to be symbolic, a metaphor for the human tendency to sin as I am sure you have already read if you have looked into this at all. Am I getting closer to the kind of response you are looking for here? :tongue:


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Trypppy]
    #16192686 - 05/07/12 12:31 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

so why do you need to make the point that its not in the name of islam but a direct order of god? I'm having trouble understanding what your trying to say with that.


If god gives a practical reason than its not just god giving an order, he's also giving a practical reason for that order. So right at the begining you can see the justification for face covering having two reasons, one because god orders it and one because there is a practical reason.



Why do you feel the need to call a face covering or a veil or a burka a 'cloth bag'. Do you refer to your shirts and pants as cloth bags?


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Freedom]
    #16193666 - 05/07/12 08:37 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Why do you feel the need to call a face covering or a veil or a burka a 'cloth bag'. Do you refer to your shirts and pants as cloth bags






More of a cloth sack...


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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: OrgoneConclusion]
    #16193766 - 05/07/12 09:33 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Do you think they have any underwear on? :doggystyle:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleOrgoneConclusion
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander]
    #16193779 - 05/07/12 09:38 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Morning wood? Those supplements been helping?


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: OrgoneConclusion]
    #16193784 - 05/07/12 09:41 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Long rests between sessions. :sad:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Invisiblemillzy
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander]
    #16194070 - 05/07/12 11:53 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
IMO the state is always involved in religion because ultimately religion is a tool of the state and culture.




again, it's not that simple. the relationship between church and state has gone back and forth since the inception of the imperial church. augustine asserted that the church should only stick to matters of spiritual consequence but acknowledged the temporal authority of the state. in essence the church, according to augustine, should be an independent organization, separate from the state but existing in harmony with it. so in an augustinian society you have not one, but two governing organizations, with the church overseeing spiritual development and the state overseeing wordly matters. in the following centuries this doctrine was reversed by the papacy for political reasons; primarily in order to thwart the crown. additionally there were periods when the crown essentially controlled the papacy, such as the time in which the papacy was moved from rome and into southern france.

be that as it may, martin luther was an augustinian monk who argued back from augustine's view of total but harmonious separation of church and state and was one of the fathers of protestantism. this protestant value carried over in no small way when the america's were settled, with the exception of the catholic colonies; massachusetts was essentially a theocracy in the early colonial period. due to the existance of theocracies such as massachussetts, early evangelicals fought hard for religious freedom, and the framers of the united states certainly had such a value in mind when james madison was drafting the constitution. now, since about the 80's, contemporary evangelicals espouse the value of dominionism, which is antithetical to the augustinian view of separation of church and state. dominionism is basically a highly organized effort to usurp the state and establish a theocracy. as wretched and un-american as dominionism is, it's important to understand that that is a strictly contemporary evangelical value and cannot be generally applied to the rest of christianity.

Quote:

According to what I've been reading basically the same thing has been going on in islam. That is why there are varying rules as to what is acceptable behavior for women and what is the meaning of jihad etc.  I really don't see your case on this at all.  The only difference is Christianity has more names for their differing interpretations of scripture.




no. islam is fundamentalist by its very nature while only parts of christianity can be viewed as fundamentalist. 

Quote:

Who decides when that control is being abused or what that abuse is?




the people who are under that control.

Quote:

Aren't teachings always open to interpretation.




it depends on which teaching and how it relates to the nicean creed, generally. some denominations aren't nicean at all though; see jehova's witnesses.

Quote:

How do you know which are being distorted?




i am unable to give an answer to that because it would be dependent on circumstance. there is no clear cut answer as to what constitutes distortion unless you just want to go back to my general assertion that scripture has been and continues to be distorted to serve the interests of a despot or elite minority.

Quote:

I can agree that all religions have some benign aspects to them but the very need for them leaves them open to such abuse due to the irrational nature of the beliefs themselves. If you believe in a god with no evidence and you believe in a priesthood ordained by that god with no evidence then you'll believe anything pretty much.  What priesthood in what religion hasn't been political in some way? It's the irrational nature of religion that scares me. It reflects a dangerous irrationality in humanity. Just look a the crimes done in the name of religion. Yet they all profess to be based in love and good will.




all of this is arguing beside the point, so all i can say is that indeed, religion is powerful stuff and it must be used carefully. 

Quote:

It's not so complicated when you look at it like this.




that doesn't mean your view is correct. unsophisticated views on any subject lead to unsophisticated opinions on that subject.


--------------------
I'm up to my ears in unwritten words. - J.D. Salinger


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16194095 - 05/07/12 12:00 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

IMO it's your views that are unsophisticated.  You call minutia sophistication.  But the use of religion is very simple imo. 

And religion is a powerful shield due to the powerful nature of our fear.  It really is that simple imo.  No fear of the unknown or impermanence and no need for religion.  Very simple once you grok it in fullness.  Otherwise you fill it in with meaningless detail in an attempt to justify it's use other than as a shield.

We both believe our views are correct but might not be so it's pretty pointless to state that obvious detail.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Invisiblemillzy
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16194112 - 05/07/12 12:04 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

johnm214 said:
Everyone faces compelling influences.  There is no bright line and to the extent your claim seems to rest on one, it seems it must fail.  Many in theocracies don't believe, violate the law, and so forth, and i see no relevant distinction to the compulsion one faces in a society of religious people who will shun them for unbelief that has no criminal penalties and one that does.




Quote:

i see no relevant distinction to the compulsion one faces in a society of religious people who will shun them for unbelief that has no criminal penalties and one that does.




so a society that imprisons and/or executes people based on their devotion/denial to/of a religion is the same as a society that doesn't? i don't see any more relevant and clear distinction between these two types of society than this.

Quote:

So what? This is not done "in the name of" Islam or represent some meerly antecedant or coincidant cultural practice, it is ordered and compelled as a direct consequence of god's word in the Quran and Hadith. It is, moreover, expressly attributable to these divine instructions when the authorities issue their rulings.




again, when the people issuing religious commands are the government, it's a different scenario.


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I'm up to my ears in unwritten words. - J.D. Salinger


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Invisiblemillzy
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: Icelander]
    #16194119 - 05/07/12 12:07 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Icelander said:
IMO it's your views that are unsophisticated. You call minutia sophistication.




what i am talking about is hardly minutia. wars have been fought over this stuff. i back my claims with history and facts while you back yours with nothing but themselves.

i do agree that further arguing this is pointless. i will agree to disagree with you.


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I'm up to my ears in unwritten words. - J.D. Salinger


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16194943 - 05/07/12 03:44 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Just because wars were fought over this nonsense doesn't make it complicated.  Well for you maybe. :shrug:  Yeah we'll disagree. It's more fun that way.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Invisiblejohnm214
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: millzy]
    #16198103 - 05/08/12 03:44 AM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Trypppy said:

Quote:

johnm214 said:

To the unsophisticated reader, myself, I would think this would be a rather fatal admission- how could this person be a catholic at all?  How could it be necessary to be baptized?  Why would the default disposition of people be hell?  Why would we need to meet in booths and tell old virgins that we're sorry for having masterbated?  Does this single admission not demolish the whole reason for Christ in the first place- and hence the whole of Christianity?

That's just one example of problems that arise from trying to reconcile credulous belief in authority with reality, but is there any non-problematic one?




The bible includes multiple baptisms and emphasizes its importance, I am not sure how this could be viewed as inconsistent with the "common christian view.”




Did I say it was?  No, I didn't.  I said that the view of Adam and Eve as mythical creatures undermines the position of the catholic church on the need for baptism and the doctrine of original sin, amongst others.

Catechism 1263:
By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin. In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam's sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.


So, I ask my question again: how do you remove adam and eve from the picture, thereby removing the original sin, and yet require baptism and all the other tomfoolery?


Quote:


The Catholic view is NOT that the default position of people be hell, that is a common protestant view though and I, being more familiar with catholic beliefs, cannot offer a proper response for their logic.




This sacrament [baptism] is also called "the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit," for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one "can enter the kingdom of God."
Catechisms of the Catholic Church 1215

How do you reconcile your claim with this Catechism?  It says plainly:  "without which no one 'can enter the kingdom of God.' ". 

As Humans are not born allready baptised, the default destination of a human is not "the kingdom of God"- heaven. 

More:

"The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation...."
CotCC 1257




Quote:

Adam and Eve are believed by many (if not most) catholics to be symbolic, a metaphor for the human tendency to sin as I am sure you have already read if you have looked into this at all. Am I getting closer to the kind of response you are looking for here? :tongue:




With respect, no.  Please read the post: I ask clearly what I want to know.  How do you throw out Adam and Eve, and thereby their acts including their sins, and yet still maintain the neccesity of baptism and all the other nonsense tied into original sin?

Quote:

Freedom said:
so why do you need to make the point that its not in the name of islam but a direct order of god? I'm having trouble understanding what your trying to say with that.




I'm trying to show that the common appologist position that people have simply done evil "in the name of" religion is downplaying reality.  The doctrine itself was instituted by god, recorded in the holy books, and directly commands such actions as were mentioned, including wearing a burqa.


Quote:

If god gives a practical reason than its not just god giving an order, he's also giving a practical reason for that order. So right at the begining you can see the justification for face covering having two reasons, one because god orders it and one because there is a practical reason.




So what?  That God ordered it is sufficient.  Nowhere is the order qualified or made contingenet on any fact.  As such, women should be forced to wear bags and punished if they try to escape.



Quote:

Why do you feel the need to call a face covering or a veil or a burka a 'cloth bag'. Do you refer to your shirts and pants as cloth bags?




I don't call a face covering or veil a "cloth bag"- neither of those are bags and neither are clearly referred to in the verses I refrenced.  The garment is indeed akin to a bag. It is a useful description as it describes the factual situation while more clearly communicating the garment to those not familiar with the terminology used in the hadith, quran.  (indeed, its my understanding nobody is quite positive what the exact nature of the garment refrenced in these works was- it was a baggy covering of the body that may or may not well comport to any garment we have a name for now).

No, I don't refer to my shirt as a cloth bag.  It is not a cloth bag.  The burqa, on the other hand, is quite similar to a cloth bag, and it is essentially this which is referred to in the scripture.

Quote:

millzy said:


so a society that imprisons and/or executes people based on their devotion/denial to/of a religion is the same as a society that doesn't?




No, there are plenty of differences.  This isn't what I said, however.  What I said was that compulsion exists in both societies independantly of the state of criminal law.



Quote:

Quote:

So what? This is not done "in the name of" Islam or represent some meerly antecedant or coincidant cultural practice, it is ordered and compelled as a direct consequence of god's word in the Quran and Hadith. It is, moreover, expressly attributable to these divine instructions when the authorities issue their rulings.




again, when the people issuing religious commands are the government, it's a different scenario.





So what?  When any variable changes it is a different scenario.  That has no neeccesary cons3equence on any particular quality.  In this case, compulsion may, and plainly does, exist independently of the law of the state.


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Invisiblejohnm214
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Re: Is there a coherent interpretation of the Bible- even through 'non-litteral interpretations'? [Re: johnm214]
    #16206764 - 05/09/12 10:09 PM (10 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Trypppy said:

The bible includes multiple baptisms and emphasizes its importance, I am not sure how this could be viewed as inconsistent with the "common christian view.”




Well? Now that I've cited the catechisms which seem to contradict both your statements on the Catholic position and backed up my claims which you challenged, will a rebuttal or withdrawal be forthcoming?


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