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Author Topic:   Why read the Bible literally: take two
Percy
Member
Posts: 18484
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 16 of 306 (220465)
06-28-2005 1:32 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by GDR
06-28-2005 10:23 AM


GDR writes:

I understand your point, but put yourself in the shoes of a literalist. How would you feel if the central belief in your life was labeled a fairy tale; would you feel like continuing a constructive dialogue?

Fred Williams calls evolution a fairy tale all the time, though he hasn't been here recently. Check out his website: http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/

I think you have to keep the context in mind. I would never call someone's religious beliefs fairy tales. I've said to Faith several times that beliefs accepted on faith do not require objective real-world support. But this only upsets Faith (as does almost everything else), and she persists in claiming that she can provide a rational argument for believing the stories really happened. At that point she has stepped into the real world where, as far as anyone can tell, talking animals appear only in cartoons.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by GDR, posted 06-28-2005 10:23 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by GDR, posted 06-28-2005 2:11 PM Percy has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4814
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 17 of 306 (220497)
06-28-2005 2:11 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Percy
06-28-2005 1:32 PM


Percy writes:

I think you have to keep the context in mind. I would never call someone's religious beliefs fairy tales. I've said to Faith several times that beliefs accepted on faith do not require objective real-world support. But this only upsets Faith (as does almost everything else), and she persists in claiming that she can provide a rational argument for believing the stories really happened. At that point she has stepped into the real world where, as far as anyone can tell, talking animals appear only in cartoons.

I still maintain that language that is less likely to cause offence would be preferable.

You make the statement that animals don't talk in the real world. I think that your statement would be more correct if you were to say that animals don't talk in the natural world.

Although I personally have come to the conclusion that the stories are metaphorical, I cannot prove that an intelligence that is capable of creating this universe is not able to cause intelligent words to come from the mouth of an animal if He so desired.

For me the question is about how does God interact with the physical world. Obviously our own life experiences are going to play a role in our own conclusions. Not having had, or known someone, who has had long conversations with their pet Iguana, (I have been caught talking to my dog :) ), I am very sceptical about the literacy of the Bible stories. I have come to one conclusion and Faith has come to another. None of us can categorically say what an Intelligence that is so far beyond us that He could create this universe from nothing, can, has, or will do.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Percy, posted 06-28-2005 1:32 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Percy, posted 06-28-2005 4:53 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
Brian
Member (Idle past 3124 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 18 of 306 (220499)
06-28-2005 2:15 PM


I think it is fine and dandy to say that a being who can create the universe could quite easily do everything in the Bible. The problem here though is that no one has proven that this entity exists in the first pace to create anything.

It is a bit like Paley's design argument, which falls apart when we ask who designed the designer.


Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by GDR, posted 06-28-2005 3:46 PM Brian has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4814
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 19 of 306 (220527)
06-28-2005 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Brian
06-28-2005 2:15 PM


Brian writes:

I think it is fine and dandy to say that a being who can create the universe could quite easily do everything in the Bible. The problem here though is that no one has proven that this entity exists in the first pace to create anything.
It is a bit like Paley's design argument, which falls apart when we ask who designed the designer.

Paley made a good argument. Dawkins made a good argument that it didn't prove the existence of God. However just because Paley was wrong it using his design argument as absolute proof, it does not mean that he was so wrong that the logic of there being a designer was wrong.

The thing is Brian, you are only accepting scientific evidence. I agree that is the predominate western approach to truth. There is however the philosophical. I contend that there is considerable philosophical evidence for the existence of a metaphysical creator. You may not accept this as evidence, but I contend that our consciousness is strong philosophical evidence of the existence of God. I suggest that those who reject that evidence are somewhat comparable to a YEC rejecting the evidence for evolution.

I believe that both of these examples, (for evolution and for God), are based on solid reasoning but I suggest that you have people on the extremes of both sides who reject the evidence because the evidence is incompatible with there beliefs.

Science is wonderful and fascinating and it does a great job of finding out the how's of our universe but it cannot deal with the why's. It is much more difficult to assess the success of the Philosophers and Theologians, as they can't conduct empirical tests. I am inclined to believe that they have made progress, and that at the very least we have to assign to them the why's of creation.

IMHO


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Brian, posted 06-28-2005 2:15 PM Brian has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Brian, posted 06-29-2005 7:36 AM GDR has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18484
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 20 of 306 (220545)
06-28-2005 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by GDR
06-28-2005 2:11 PM


GDR writes:

I still maintain that language that is less likely to cause offence would be preferable.

I agree with you, but not at the expense of meaning. I was trying to emphasize to Faith something she seems to be having trouble remembering, namely that she's claiming she can advance objective arguments not based upon faith or belief for interpreting the Bible literally. The more times she provides answers along the lines of (paraphrasing), "You just believe and then you know," or "Jesus believed it, that's sufficient evidence," the more I'm forced to explore the vocabulary to clarify things for her.

You haven't been here that long, so you're unaware that Faith has a very extensive history of making exaggerated claims of objective support for what she believes. Don't take my word for it, ask anyone.

GDR writes:

For me the question is about how does God interact with the physical world. Obviously our own life experiences are going to play a role in our own conclusions. Not having had, or known someone, who has had long conversations with their pet Iguana, (I have been caught talking to my dog :) ), I am very sceptical about the literacy of the Bible stories. I have come to one conclusion and Faith has come to another. None of us can categorically say what an Intelligence that is so far beyond us that He could create this universe from nothing, can, has, or will do.

But how does this bear on the question addressed to Faith? She says that there's an rational argument for taking the Bible literally. To me this would be an argument that does not first require one to believe, one that is independent of Christianity, one that would be as persuasive to Hindus and atheists as Christians. I think Faith agrees with this, because when I pointed out her faith based arguments, she then emphasized her authority arguments. I think the argument that God can do anything is a religious, faith-based argument, and it doesn't seem the type of argument Faith should be seeking in her search for objective support for literal interpretations of the Bible.

--Percy


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 Message 21 by Faith, posted 06-28-2005 7:39 PM Percy has responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 31680
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 21 of 306 (220580)
06-28-2005 7:39 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Percy
06-28-2005 4:53 PM


namely that she's claiming she can advance objective arguments not based upon faith or belief for interpreting the Bible literally. The more times she provides answers along the lines of (paraphrasing), "You just believe and then you know," or "Jesus believed it, that's sufficient evidence," the more I'm forced to explore the vocabulary to clarify things for her.

I believe that I have made a pretty decent objective case on the other thread. I appealed to various extremely well qualified authorities who support the literal reading, Jesus the main one, and running through many Church Fathers, Calvin, Edwards, Henry etc, and now you want me to match them to the criteria for authentic appeal-to-authority to give support to my claim. That's just busywork. I looked at the criteria and figured someone might find one or two items to make an objection out of, and decided I don't feel like fighting you. The majority on the list are met by all the authorities I listed. But there is apparently no way you will ever recognize such a thing.

Brian claims Jesus didn't even support the literal reading, despite the fact that the other authorities I refer to say he did. There is no way to fight this kind of thing. These are objective evidences, however, whether anyone finds them to make the case or not, they are not subjective, they are not about some kind of nebulous belief or feeling, they deal with objective questions such as whether Jesus did or did not in fact objectively support the literal readings.

I also made a case from the internal consistency of the Bible, the fact that the major tenets of Christianity don't hold up unless the literal truth of the disputed early portions holds up. If you don't care whether it holds up or not, or can't appreciate the beauty of the OBJECTIVE interwoven character of the Bible, I can't prove it to you beyond what I've done, but again the point IS an objective point, it's not a matter of my feelings or beliefs.

You will continue to define my contributions as nonobjective and that just makes me tired. You misrepresent me that I make any part of my argument on the basis of "just knowing." I SAID IT ONCE as introductory remark, as a sort of caveat, because it's true, but I pointedly did not include it in my list of evidences because it's obviously not an objective evidence. You ought to have the sense of fairness to recognize that instead of browbeating me about something I did not do.

In this atmosphere in which nothing I say is given any weight whatever, that entire other thread is dismissed as contributing absolutely nothing to my claims in the dispute, and my RARE remarks about "just knowing" are taken out of context and made to misrepresent my overall objective attempts to demonstrate why the Bible should be taken literally, I really have no motivation to continue it onto this thread.

P.S. the commentaries I checked so far don't discuss the "talking serpent" element. They simply refer to the serpent as Satan, because Jesus in Revelation explained that he is Satan. That was the point of my last post on that other thread I believe.

But I guess you enjoy ridiculing it. So enjoy.

I too refer to evolutionism as a fairy tale, an amazing fantasy.

{EDIT: Matthew Henry says this about the serpent:

quote:
2. It was the devil in the likeness of a serpent. Whether it was only the visible shape and appearance of a serpent (as some think those were of which we read, Ex. 7:12), or whether it was a real living serpent, actuated and possessed by the devil, is not certain: by Gods permission it might be either. The devil chose to act his part in a serpent....
}

This message has been edited by Faith, 06-29-2005 02:37 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Percy, posted 06-28-2005 4:53 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Percy, posted 06-29-2005 10:07 AM Faith has responded

  
lfen
Member (Idle past 2842 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 22 of 306 (220604)
06-29-2005 12:29 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by jar
06-28-2005 12:01 PM


Re: On the value of Fairy Tales
One of the most influential books (after 1066 and All That)

Ah, you note that most wonderful of books. Few people I mention it too have heard of it. pity ...

btw

Why do you picture John of Gaunt as an emaciated grandee?

And has it occurred to you the Romans counted backwards? Why or why not?

lfen


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 Message 15 by jar, posted 06-28-2005 12:01 PM jar has not yet responded

Brian
Member (Idle past 3124 days)
Posts: 4659
From: Scotland
Joined: 10-22-2002


Message 23 of 306 (220629)
06-29-2005 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by GDR
06-28-2005 3:46 PM


Paley made a good argument.

Perhaps at face value he did, but on closer inspection it really isnt even an argument, it is an analogy. He did make some very basic errors.

Dawkins made a good argument that it didn't prove the existence of God.

Paley was well refuted long before Dawkins was even born.

However just because Paley was wrong it using his design argument as absolute proof, it does not mean that he was so wrong that the logic of there being a designer was wrong.

The logic of there being a designer is not wrong, Paleys argument though is terminally flawed.

The thing is Brian, you are only accepting scientific evidence. I agree that is the predominate western approach to truth.

It is also the best way of persuading an open minded person.

There is however the philosophical. I contend that there is considerable philosophical evidence for the existence of a metaphysical creator. You may not accept this as evidence, but I contend that our consciousness is strong philosophical evidence of the existence of God.

I accept that there is a great deal of evidence for the existence of gods, but that evidence is extremely poor and does not necessarily lead to there being gods.

I have no problem with philosophical arguments for the existence of gods, but there is no way to prove what the philosophical arguments suggest is actually real.

I suggest that those who reject that evidence are somewhat comparable to a YEC rejecting the evidence for evolution.

There is a fundamental difference though, evolution has been proven to occur beyond any reasonable doubt. With the wealth of evidence available it is perverse to deny that evolution happens.

All I really see from the creationists are arguments against evolution, they never seem to realise that even if evolution wasnt true then that doesnt automatically mean that creation is true. Creationists should concentrate on providing evidence to support the creation theory instead of trying to undermine the most authenticated fact in the history of the world.

Also, evolution can be falsified, so how come on one has been able to falsify it?

Creationism cannot be falsified as no models for creation are presented, we are all asked to take it on faith, we are all asked to accept circular reasoning as being an acceptable approach.

I believe that both of these examples, (for evolution and for God), are based on solid reasoning but I suggest that you have people on the extremes of both sides who reject the evidence because the evidence is incompatible with there beliefs.

I agree. Some people are happy to accept things on faith and reasoning, but it is the understanding of what reasoning is that causes the problem. Many people think it is unreasonable to ask anyone to believe that the universe is 6000 years old without providing hard evidence for that. Some people think it is unreasonable to ask someone to believe in being that we have no way of knowing whether that being exists or not.

Science is wonderful and fascinating and it does a great job of finding out the how's of our universe but it cannot deal with the why's.

You are assuming that there has to be a why. This could just be the limited human intelligence imposing a reason onto something that doesnt need it.

It is much more difficult to assess the success of the Philosophers and Theologians, as they can't conduct empirical tests. I am inclined to believe that they have made progress, and that at the very least we have to assign to them the why's of creation.

I began my higher education by studying religion and history, then on to theology, but I am now drifting towards a more empirically based discipline. Philosophers and theologians can provide answers to the whys, and this is fine for many people, but I need a bit more than that.

Brian.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by GDR, posted 06-28-2005 3:46 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Faith, posted 06-29-2005 8:38 AM Brian has not yet responded
 Message 25 by robinrohan, posted 06-29-2005 9:03 AM Brian has not yet responded
 Message 27 by GDR, posted 06-29-2005 10:17 AM Brian has not yet responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 31680
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 24 of 306 (220634)
06-29-2005 8:38 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Brian
06-29-2005 7:36 AM


Off topic -- no it can't be falsified
Also, evolution can be falsified, so how come on one has been able to falsify it?

It can't be falsified. It is an INTERPRETATION. If one explanation for a given phenomenon doesn't work there are always others because it's all interpretation. You can't falsify interpretation. There is never any way to actually PROVE that one thing evolved from another, there simply is not. It is ALWAYS possible that what is called speciation is really only a variation, or a "breed" or a "race," the coming to the fore of potentials built into the genome which permit variation of the given species, and it is ALWAYS possible that similarities between species, either in observed features or genes, are simply similar design features used in a multiplicity of different ways but not genetically related to each other. There is NO way to *prove* descent except within a species. Yeah I know you think you've proved it.

This message has been edited by Faith, 06-29-2005 08:40 AM


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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 306 (220639)
06-29-2005 9:03 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Brian
06-29-2005 7:36 AM


Also, evolution can be falsified, so how come on one has been able to falsify it?

Creationism cannot be falsified as no models for creation are presented, we are all asked to take it on faith, we are all asked to accept circular reasoning as being an acceptable approach.

The meaning of the word "falsified" is rather puzzling here. I suppose it means "tested"? A scientific theory must be vulnerable to testing to see if it is false or not. I suppose that's what you mean?

What would be a good test we could try on TOE?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Brian, posted 06-29-2005 7:36 AM Brian has not yet responded

Percy
Member
Posts: 18484
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 26 of 306 (220648)
06-29-2005 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Faith
06-28-2005 7:39 PM


Faith writes:

I believe that I have made a pretty decent objective case on the other thread. I appealed to various extremely well qualified authorities who support the literal reading, Jesus the main one, and running through many Church Fathers, Calvin, Edwards, Henry etc, and now you want me to match them to the criteria for authentic appeal-to-authority to give support to my claim. That's just busywork.

Well, it's work, and you can't reap the rewards of the work if you don't do the work.

Until you support your authorities, you're just using the fallacy of argument from authority. I know you'd like your authorities accepted without question, but that isn't how issues get settled. In fact, quality discussions avoid the argument from authority altogether, because for every authority one side offers the other side can usually offer one, too. Argument from authority types of discussions usually go nowhere.

If you don't want to follow through on supporting your argument from authority, please understand that I don't want you to, either. I want you to avoid the argument from authority altogether to instead discuss the relevant criteria and evidence. It doesn't help us much to know that Jonathan Edwards accepted a literal talking serpent. We need to know how he arrived at that conclusion.

But I guess you enjoy ridiculing it. So enjoy.

As I explained, ridicule is not the object. To one who does not accept the Bible as literally true, Abraham's journey into Egypt might be described as myth. There is little in the account that isn't possible in the real world, and maybe it even did happen. But talking animals and global floods and wives turning to salt and men living inside fish are myths of a different character, and I emphasized that by using the term "fairy tale," not because it's necessarily the best term, but because you didn't seem to recognize the magnitude of the task you set yourself. You still don't. You still seem to think that non-fundamentalists should accept fundamentalist beliefs just as strongly as you do. There *are* other belief systems out there, you know. You need arguments grounded in objectivty, not Christian theology. You need arguments that are true for everyone, not just fundamentalists.

In this atmosphere in which nothing I say is given any weight whatever...

Have you considered the possibility that it might have more to do with the strength of your arguments? I know you think you're offering objective evidence, but it's all Christian theology, e.g., this that you thought so important you added it by edit:

Faith writes:

{EDIT: Matthew Henry says this about the serpent:

quote:
2. It was the devil in the likeness of a serpent. Whether it was only the visible shape and appearance of a serpent (as some think those were of which we read, Ex. 7:12), or whether it was a real living serpent, actuated and possessed by the devil, is not certain: by Gods permission it might be either. The devil chose to act his part in a serpent....
}

Offering Christian authorities in support of Christian beliefs cannot be termed objective by any stretch of the imagination. You need an argument that is as persuasive to Hindus and atheists as it is to Christians. Any argument that requires Christian belief to be convincing is not objective. My suggestion is to move past the problematic authorities approach and instead start offering objective arguments. Explain to us logically and rationally without any reference to Christian theology and belief why the Bible should be interpreted literally.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Faith, posted 06-28-2005 7:39 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Faith, posted 06-29-2005 2:05 PM Percy has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4814
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 27 of 306 (220650)
06-29-2005 10:17 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Brian
06-29-2005 7:36 AM


This is an interesting story from the Harvard Gazette about a man with views on what we are discussing.

Harvard Gazette writes:

Laser's inventor predicts meeting of science, religion
Townes sees more parallels than disparities
By Alvin Powell
Harvard News Office

Nobel laureate and laser inventor Charles H. Townes told a packed Science Center lecture hall Monday (June 13) that science and religion are parallel, rather than antagonistic, disciplines and that he sees them ultimately coming together.

"I look at science and religion as quite parallel, much more similar than most people think and that in the long run, they must converge," Townes said in his 40-minute talk.

Townes' speech, "Logic and Mystery in Science and Religion," coincided with a weeklong conference at Harvard on recent advances by a new astronomical facility, the Submillimeter Array on the slopes of Hawaii's highest volcano, Mauna Kea.

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) Director Charles Alcock said that Townes was in Cambridge to deliver technical talks for the conference and was asked to address the more general topic in a public lecture.

The Submillimeter Array examines light at wavelengths invisible to the human eye, combining signals from eight 6-meter antennas to gather very high-resolution images of the universe.

The array has been able to observe objects billions of light years away, allowing it to essentially look back in time. It has already helped identify distant, dusty galaxies too faint for the Hubble Space Telescope to see clearly, and to show that they are undergoing bursts of star formation.

Townes: "It's a fantastically specialized universe..."

The talk was sponsored by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and by the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

In describing religion and science as parallel, Townes rejected the often hostile relationship between the two, evidenced today in the ongoing battle over teaching evolution in schools and by religious objections to certain scientific procedures, such as stem cell research.

Instead, Townes said, science and religion are both efforts to understand the universe. Science seeks to understand how the universe works and how humans work, while religion is an attempt to understand the meaning and purpose of the universe and of humankind, which requires an understanding of their workings.

Both deal with large, unproved mysteries, and operate on the best knowledge available today. Faith is a central tenet of religion, but Townes said a certain amount of faith is also shown by scientists, applying theories that they know have shortcomings in an effort to understand the vast amount of the universe that remains unknown.

"We accept that we just don't understand at this moment and that we'll figure it out some day," Townes said, adding that we shouldn't be afraid of new ideas to explain the things we don't understand. "I think it's important for us to recognize that we don't understand everything."

Townes won the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) "for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle."

Born in 1915, Townes was described as "one of the founding fathers of radio-astronomy" by Donald H. Menzel Professor of Astrophysics James Moran, who introduced the talk. Townes also pushed to have investigators explore the interstellar medium, looking for molecules floating between stars. Today, Moran said, more than 128 molecules have been identified.

Townes first addressed the topic of science and religion in the 1950s, when he moved from Bell Labs to Columbia University and delivered a talk on the subject at a local church. The text of the talk was published by publications at IBM and MIT, gaining widespread attention.

Townes said at the beginning of his speech that it presented his own views and that not everyone would agree with them. He focused his attention on how little is known about the physical world, saying that among the unknowns it is possible that science and religion are describing the same thing.

Among the parallels cited in his talk, Townes said that science has proven that in the big bang, there was a "creation," though not one described in creation stories such as the Bible. He also said that there's very little wiggle room in the laws of nature in order to allow life to arise, which prompts questions of why they are the way they are. Questions about free will, the nature of consciousness, the forces that caused the big bang - or even what came before the big bang, highlight the vastness of what humans don't know about the universe - whether from a religious or scientific standpoint, Townes said.

"Scientists, especially physicists, recognize that this is a very special world. Things have to be almost exactly as they are in order for us to exist," Townes said. "It's a fantastically specialized universe, but how in the world did it happen?"

This message has been edited by GDR, 06-29-2005 07:20 AM


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Faith
Member
Posts: 31680
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 28 of 306 (220709)
06-29-2005 2:05 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Percy
06-29-2005 10:07 AM


Explain to us logically and rationally without any reference to Christian theology and belief why the Bible should be interpreted literally.
=======================

I've done so and quite well as far as it went, but as usual you have your own discrediting spin on it. If I get a second wind and pray a lot about it, who knows, I may have more to say. At the moment I just find your response unmotivating.

Cheers.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Percy, posted 06-29-2005 10:07 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Percy, posted 06-29-2005 3:08 PM Faith has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18484
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 29 of 306 (220741)
06-29-2005 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by Faith
06-29-2005 2:05 PM


Faith writes:

I've done so and quite well as far as it went, but as usual you have your own discrediting spin on it. If I get a second wind and pray a lot about it...

No, Faith, it isn't spin. You made a claim and were unable to support it, and now you're withdrawing while taking your parting shots. If you prefer not to continue the discussion that's fine. Making an insupportable claim and then abandoning the field while badmouthing your opponents is your pattern, your modus operandi, the characteristic quality that distinguishes you. If you're going to pray, pray for the strength to stop blaming others every time you fail to prove that your religious beliefs have objective support.

I wasn't originally too interested in this thread because, residing as it did in the Bible Study forum, I thought the arguments for literal interpretations would be theological and scriptural and in a Christian context. But my curiousity was aroused when you broadened the scope, claiming that objective arguments could be advanced that the Bible should be literally interpreted. Your defense of this position was far from objective and completely fundamentalist Christian. You cited Biblical consistency, the requirements to Christian theology that Biblical events be real, you cited characters from the Bible and Christian apologists, and contrary to your earlier claim that you did not include faith-based justfications, your point 6 was, "Any true appreciation of the power of God ought to tell a person that none of these things is impossible. We believe them simply because God is God."

You said that a literal interpretation was the intelligent choice, and I asked you to take us through the chain of logic and analysis that leads to this conclusion. I think you offered a very strong Christian justfication. You didn't offer anything like an objective one that would find acceptance in non-Christian circles. The definition of objective is that which appears the same to all regardless of background or opinion. You haven't met that standard. Nor should you have to. I'm completely flabbergasteed everytime you make the incredible claim that your religious beliefs are not only objectively true, but you can prove it.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Faith, posted 06-29-2005 2:05 PM Faith has responded

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 Message 30 by Faith, posted 06-29-2005 8:55 PM Percy has responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 31680
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 30 of 306 (220811)
06-29-2005 8:55 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Percy
06-29-2005 3:08 PM


I think maybe I'm starting to understand the problem here. Apparently you read "intelligent" in terms of your criteria for science fora? The term was used to contrast with "literal," to demonstrate that the Bible has many elements to it, not just the historical which are to be read "literally." An "intelligent reading" does not require the meeting of such narrow criteria as you are insisting upon. It simply means knowing how to approach the varied kinds of literature represented in the Bible in a manner appropriate to their form and intent.

{edit:

You said that a literal interpretation was the intelligent choice,

Actually, I don't see how this is anything other than exactly the same claim that certain particular parts are to be read literally which is the subject of the previous thread and now this one, nothing new being added by the term "intelligent." However, again, as I say above, an "intelligent" reading is not always literal, depending on the part of the Bible being considered, that was the point of the choice of the term.

In my view, however, I've done quite a creditable job of giving intelligent reasons why the disputed parts of the Bible are to be read literally. Surely I can't be required to CONVINCE anyone in order to be given that much credit? Since when is being expected to make others agree with you the criterion for making a good argument?

The men I've quoted are eminently qualified to judge, and should in principle be recognized as such by anyone. And the internal consistency of the Bible is objective and should yield itself to the study of anyone whatever.

AND there's nothing "subjective" about the statement "If God is God then what's the problem anyway?" It's not subjective and in fact it's quite an intelligent basis for making a judgment about a writing that is about God.

This message has been edited by Faith, 06-29-2005 09:25 PM

This message has been edited by Faith, 06-29-2005 09:26 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Percy, posted 06-29-2005 3:08 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Percy, posted 06-30-2005 9:43 AM Faith has responded

  
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