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Author Topic:   If Genesis is Metaphorical, what's the metaphor?
Jor-el
Inactive Member


Message 136 of 168 (190492)
03-07-2005 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 130 by crashfrog
03-06-2005 9:43 PM


"We can do away with guilt and concience because in the end there is really no right and wrong, no good and evil."

No offense, but you're totally wrong. Most atheists come to the conclusion that the lack of an all-powerful moral authority means that we have a duty to be more moral, not less. If we're the pinnacle of moral authority, if we're the only "gods", if you will, then our duty to each other is magnified, because there's simply no one else to fulfill that duty.

That actually looks very good when written down, putting it into practice is another matter entirely. From what I've seen of human nature or rather "human base instincts" I get a totally different picture. When we throw off that cape of civilized behaviour, we are worse than the animals in nature, and nature is brutal. I could list a few examples but all one really needs to do is look at a news broadcast on any given day. Or better yet, your own attitude when sombody asks you for money to contribute to some type of aid relief, or a beggar asking for a copper or two.

I'm sure you have read "The Lord of the Flies" by William Golding, it is used in many Lit. classes in High Scool. Need I say more?

"Western civilization is based on the premise of christian principles, and has been for the last 2000 years. Take away that premise and what have you got left?"

Exactly what you started with - the morals that a society needs to serve itself. You've just eliminated the fairy tales you've used to manipulate people into following them, and convinced them to follow them on their own merits. Nobody wants to live in a crumbling society; thus, people will be moral because they understand the benefits of doing so.

But you seem to be overlooking the fact that the supposed morals that the athiests have come up with were originally given by the christian outlook on life. This has been so for the last 2000 years. Anything you can think of that uplifts humanity and gives it rights and responsibilities was brought about by that same christian faith which is now supposed to be "fairy tales". It looks like you're biting off the hand that fed you.

You act like civilization must be Christian, or fail - yet, Western civilization is not the only civilization. It's neither the oldest, nor the most successful. You might stop by Japan if you wanted to see how a society could be non-Christian and yet preserve the way of life that you're familiar with.

The 1st thing I would like to comment on is the fact that I stated my opinion. Your comment seems to imply that I'm being arrogant by having written this. There is no way that you can infer such an attitude on my part from what I've written.

Each civilization must stand and fall according to its' merits. History shows that nothing made by man is eternal, not even western civilization. As for being the most succesful, I think 2000 years of history is quite an achievement, don't you?

The Roman Republic/Empire only lasted about 950 years(510 BC to 476 AD). The Chinese Empire lasted 1500 years from what I've read (256 BC until the fall of the Mongol Yuan dynasty in 1368 AD). There may be others that have lasted longer but I'm willing to bet that they are very very few. Humanistically speaking western civilization (based on christian principles) was the 1st to abolish slavery in the history of humanity.

While there were periods that are shameful to all according to how we view "civilization" today, We cannot say that christian influence in society was not a positive modifier.

Your very outlook and capacity for free speech is based on these principles. Look at the old Soviet Society and see how a "moral and athiestic" society behaves itself. They were all for man being his own "god".


We are the sum of all that is, and has been. We will be the sum of our choices.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 130 by crashfrog, posted 03-06-2005 9:43 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 138 by crashfrog, posted 03-07-2005 3:25 PM Jor-el has responded

  
Jor-el
Inactive Member


Message 137 of 168 (190499)
03-07-2005 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by macaroniandcheese
03-06-2005 11:18 PM


Re: Uh?
just because most christians (or more specifically you) believe that the bible is "truth" from the mouth of god, doesn't mean that all do.

arrogance does not become you. humility is your directive. use it.

Arrogance has got nothing to do with my post. Did you actually read the part that states (twice) that this is my opinion?

I also stated for sake of complete clarity:

Like I said, this is a personal opinion and in many christian circles is not even accepted or practiced.

Now I ask a question, why should my personal opinion be so shocking to you?


We are the sum of all that is, and has been. We will be the sum of our choices.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by macaroniandcheese, posted 03-06-2005 11:18 PM macaroniandcheese has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by crashfrog, posted 03-07-2005 3:27 PM Jor-el has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 138 of 168 (190500)
03-07-2005 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by Jor-el
03-07-2005 2:50 PM


That actually looks very good when written down, putting it into practice is another matter entirely.

Yet, millions of atheists are "putting it into practice" every day, and the funny thing is, we're doing it better than most of you Christians. If the content of the jails is any indication.

When we throw off that cape of civilized behaviour

Who is claiming we need to overturn civilization? When people actually think about it, the vast majority come to the same conclusion - it's better to be civilized than not.

Your mistake is that you conflate belief in a fairy tale with understanding of what it takes to run a society.

I'm sure you have read "The Lord of the Flies" by William Golding, it is used in many Lit. classes in High Scool.

Yes, I have. Did you miss the fact that it's a story about how the elite use stories about the supernatural to manipulate others to do their bidding? Apparently so.

But you seem to be overlooking the fact that the supposed morals that the athiests have come up with were originally given by the christian outlook on life.

I'm sorry? Every culture as "do not steal" and "do not kill"; they predate the Bible by thousands of years.

This has been so for the last 2000 years.

Oh, right, because there were absolutely no civilizations whatsoever before they wrote the Bible. Funny, I must have missed that little factoid in World History.

Anything you can think of that uplifts humanity and gives it rights and responsibilities was brought about by that same christian faith which is now supposed to be "fairy tales".

I disagree. The best stuff predates the Bible. And a fair bit of your "Biblical morals" have actually the opposite effect; they are used to enslave and oppress elements of humanity. What's uplifting about telling two gay men that they're abominations that God hates? What's uplifting about telling black people they've been marked by God for slavery?

It looks like you're biting off the hand that fed you.

I'll bite away. There's nothing in the Bible that benefits us only in the context of Christian belief; and eliminating that basis of Christian belief removes much in the Bible that is harmful to our society.

As for being the most succesful, I think 2000 years of history is quite an achievement, don't you?

It's pretty good, but that 2000 years hasn't been all good times. The history of modern democracy, in practice, is maybe 200-300 years. A lot of your 2000 of Western Civilization has been the oppression of peoples and the tyranny of the elite. It's awesome that that gave birth to participatory government, but remember that that only happened when we pulled religion out of politics.

Humanistically speaking western civilization (based on christian principles) was the 1st to abolish slavery in the history of humanity.

Oh? That's news to me. Last I checked, Western civilizations put prisoners to work, drafted men into military service against their will, and instituted other acts of unfree labor. We don't always call it "slavery", of course, but the principle of coercing labor against the laborer's will still persists.

I'm glad we've made progress. But we weren't the first society to eliminate unfree labor; no society has, yet.

We cannot say that christian influence in society was not a positive modifier.

Compare, if you would, the length of time considered "the Dark Ages", when the Christian church held sway, with the length of time elapsed since the Enlightenment. On the balance, the Christian church has been a force of oppression, not of freedom.

Look at the old Soviet Society and see how a "moral and athiestic" society behaves itself. They were all for man being his own "god".

Then they weren't atheists, now were they? If you believe that the State is God, God is the State, then you're not an atheist. How can you be?

If you want to see how an atheist society can function, look around you. (Er, I see you live in Portugal, so what I mean is, look around me.) America is full of atheists, and somehow, we do just fine. Better than the theists, in fact.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by Jor-el, posted 03-07-2005 2:50 PM Jor-el has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by Jor-el, posted 03-07-2005 3:49 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 139 of 168 (190501)
03-07-2005 3:27 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by Jor-el
03-07-2005 3:23 PM


Now I ask a question, why should my personal opinion be so shocking to you?

Why did you offer your opinion if you didn't expect it to be discussed? What do you think we do here, exactly?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by Jor-el, posted 03-07-2005 3:23 PM Jor-el has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by Jor-el, posted 03-07-2005 3:40 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Jor-el
Inactive Member


Message 140 of 168 (190503)
03-07-2005 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by crashfrog
03-07-2005 3:27 PM


One can discuss and opinionate as much as they want on forums (within limits) but it is needless to go out of your way to say that one is being arrogant just because they decided to practice a little free speech. If you think that my post was arrogant ,then I apologize for that misconception, but not for the content.

In your post (138) you replied without any need for being rude or actively putting a person down just because you don't agree with him. What need was there for saying that I was being arrogant when that was not the case?


We are the sum of all that is, and has been. We will be the sum of our choices.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by crashfrog, posted 03-07-2005 3:27 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by crashfrog, posted 03-07-2005 3:46 PM Jor-el has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 141 of 168 (190504)
03-07-2005 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by Jor-el
03-07-2005 3:40 PM


What need was there for saying that I was being arrogant when that was not the case?

A consciencious person would wonder why their audience percieved them as arrogant when they had no intention of being read that way.

In your case, you need to beware: the assertion that Christians know what's best for people better than anybody else comes off as arrogant no matter how you slice it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by Jor-el, posted 03-07-2005 3:40 PM Jor-el has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by Jor-el, posted 03-07-2005 3:56 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Jor-el
Inactive Member


Message 142 of 168 (190505)
03-07-2005 3:49 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by crashfrog
03-07-2005 3:25 PM


Anything you can think of that uplifts humanity and gives it rights and responsibilities was brought about by that same christian faith which is now supposed to be "fairy tales".

I disagree. The best stuff predates the Bible. And a fair bit of your "Biblical morals" have actually the opposite effect; they are used to enslave and oppress elements of humanity. What's uplifting about telling two gay men that they're abominations that God hates? What's uplifting about telling black people they've been marked by God for slavery?

Can you name one society or culture that hasn't done the same?
As far as I know we live with and are people with faults and weakness' but you seem to take that to heart when it comes to christianity.


We are the sum of all that is, and has been. We will be the sum of our choices.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by crashfrog, posted 03-07-2005 3:25 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by crashfrog, posted 03-07-2005 3:55 PM Jor-el has not yet responded
 Message 147 by purpledawn, posted 03-07-2005 4:26 PM Jor-el has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 143 of 168 (190507)
03-07-2005 3:55 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by Jor-el
03-07-2005 3:49 PM


Can you name one society or culture that hasn't done the same?

Can you name one that hasn't been predicated on the worship of something? And that something being invested with absolute moral authority?

Be it God, or the Communist Party, or Our Great Leader, societies that have handed down arbitrary "absolute" morals have led to oppression of peoples.

As far as I know we live with and are people with faults and weakness' but you seem to take that to heart when it comes to christianity.

You're the one that singled out Christianity, not me. Don't retreat behind a feigned victimhood. Christianity isn't any worse than any of the others; it's merely my point that it isn't any better, either.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by Jor-el, posted 03-07-2005 3:49 PM Jor-el has not yet responded

  
Jor-el
Inactive Member


Message 144 of 168 (190508)
03-07-2005 3:56 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by crashfrog
03-07-2005 3:46 PM


What needs to be addressed is whether I was speaking for myself or for all of christianity.

In that respect I was conciencious, and not presumptous enough to confuse a personal opinion with a response that speaks for all christians.

It feels like, when someone defends their opinion and it happens to be a christian outlook, that everybody is shocked and scandalized that I should be so arrogant and presumtous to do so.


We are the sum of all that is, and has been. We will be the sum of our choices.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by crashfrog, posted 03-07-2005 3:46 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 145 by crashfrog, posted 03-07-2005 4:11 PM Jor-el has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 145 of 168 (190512)
03-07-2005 4:11 PM
Reply to: Message 144 by Jor-el
03-07-2005 3:56 PM


In that respect I was conciencious, and not presumptous enough to confuse a personal opinion with a response that speaks for all christians.

I don't understand how that's supposed to mitigate the arrogance of your statement. Did you, or did you not, advance the claim that Christianity, and soley Christianity, was able to provide the best morals for Western Civilization?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 144 by Jor-el, posted 03-07-2005 3:56 PM Jor-el has not yet responded

  
AdminJar
Inactive Member


Message 146 of 168 (190513)
03-07-2005 4:15 PM


Topic Folk
We seem to be wandering away from the question of Genesis and Metaphor. Let's try to head back in that direction, please.


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purpledawn
Member
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 147 of 168 (190516)
03-07-2005 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by Jor-el
03-07-2005 3:49 PM


quote:
Can you name one society or culture that hasn't done the same?

Read more about the early Native American tribes.

Iroquois

Their history shows a tolerance for gays, other religions, etc.

You have to find books that deal with the Native Americans before the missionaries came. They are hard to find since they didn't maintain written records, so much of what is written now reflects the changes after the missionaries.


"The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which lasts forever." --Anatole France
This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by Jor-el, posted 03-07-2005 3:49 PM Jor-el has not yet responded

  
Trae
Member (Idle past 751 days)
Posts: 442
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 06-18-2004


Message 148 of 168 (190583)
03-08-2005 7:53 AM
Reply to: Message 134 by arachnophilia
03-07-2005 8:08 AM


Re: The Historical Symphony
The problem is when you use terms like just.

I think this sums up what we have been talking well enough.

The form or style of historiography do not affect its relation with the evidence, its epistemic status Tucker, Aviezer, Our Knowledge of the Past: A Philosophy of Historiography, Cambridge University Press, 2004, 291pp, $70.00 (hbk), ISBN 0521834155.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by arachnophilia, posted 03-07-2005 8:08 AM arachnophilia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 149 by arachnophilia, posted 03-09-2005 3:29 AM Trae has acknowledged this reply

  
arachnophilia
Member
Posts: 8963
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 149 of 168 (190713)
03-09-2005 3:29 AM
Reply to: Message 148 by Trae
03-08-2005 7:53 AM


Re: The Historical Symphony
The problem is when you use terms like just.

hardly a refutation of my scholarly analysis of genesis. it does not show the signs of being a history of events in judaic style of the time in it's finished form, or in more than once source.

set in the past ≠ history.

I think this sums up what we have been talking well enough.

The form or style of historiography do not affect its relation with the evidence, its epistemic status Tucker, Aviezer, Our Knowledge of the Past: A Philosophy of Historiography, Cambridge University Press, 2004, 291pp, $70.00 (hbk), ISBN 0521834155.

quote:
Conal Furay and Michael J. Salevouris define "historiography" as "the study of the way history has been and is written--the history of historical writing... When you study 'historiography' you do not study the events of the past directly, but the changing interpretations of those events in the works of individual historians." (The Methods and Skills of History: A Practical Guide, 1988, p. 223)

genesis may well be a historiography. but it is not a history.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by Trae, posted 03-08-2005 7:53 AM Trae has acknowledged this reply

  
One_Charred_Wing
Member (Idle past 2600 days)
Posts: 690
From: USA West Coast
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 150 of 168 (193208)
03-22-2005 1:37 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by jjburklo
02-21-2005 9:39 PM


A possible metaphor?
I'm by no means a veteran Bible scholar, but to me the story of the Tree of Knowledge had a simple meaning: When Adam and Eve ate the apple they gained the knowledge of good and evil, therefore all of us as their children have the responsibility of knowing right from wrong.

And while I don't believe that Genesis tells the actual story of how life came about, I think it's interesting how man came from the 'dust of the earth' kind of the amino acids did according to the Urey-Miller experiement.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by jjburklo, posted 02-21-2005 9:39 PM jjburklo has not yet responded

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